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The Smart Way to Buy Information Technology

Co-authored by Swingtide president Diane Carco,The Smart Way to Buy Information Technology: How to Maximize Value and Avoid Costly Pitfalls (AMACOM, 1998) , is a widely-used guide to information technology sourcing. Called “a graceful marriage of technical expertise and common sense,” this book has helped corporate decision-makers all over the world put their IT acquisitions in the proper business context.

CIO Magazine explains:

The Smart Way to Buy Information Technology is the cheat sheet you need to put you in the driver’s seat.

The book is divided into three parts. The first looks at how IT buying mistakes are made, with insights into technolphilia (love of technology) and vendor selling ploys (buzzword babble, appeals to machismo) that will make you giggle and grimace in recognition.

The second section describes a practical strategy for dealing with these tactics: identifying the proper participants for a cross-department purchase team, avoiding the seven deadly negotiating sins (assuming that the vendor intends to screw you or has your best interests at heart are equally dangerous), finding where your leverage with the vendor lies.

In the final section, devoted to contracts, the authors delve into the minutiae of consulting and outsourcing agreements, software licensing and hardware purchases.

Computerworld praises:

IT managers will find this book highly informative – and slightly entertaining. Peterson and Carco have written a valuable and detailed view of all sides of the information technology procurement process.

An IT manager can get a lot out of this work, especially if some key buying decisions loom on the horizon.

BYTE Magazine raves:

The book delivers a rich set of guidelines for making IT purchases and developing vendor relationships.

If you would like more information about The Smart Way to Buy Information Technology, please contact us at info@swingtide.com.

The Swingtide CIO Monograph Series

Swingtide CIO monographs are brief, topical white papers written to explore IT business issues. Use the links below to download a monograph. Registration is not required.

Outsourcing Health Checks and IT Sourcing Wellness explores common problems in outsourcing deals (failure to realize expected cost savings, hidden or opaque costs, service levels not achieved, contract imbalances, etc.) and describes a straightforward remediation process to improve any outsourcing relationship.

Assisting Acquisitions and Divestitures through IT Cost Transparency shows how commonly overlooked deal costs (splitting or integration of applications, infrastructure and data; third-party contract penalties; one-time or additional support costs; unabsorbed (or under-absorbed) overhead; and transition services costs) are best dealt with by creating IT cost transparency in anticipation of organizational change.

Incremental Steps to Achieve Radical IT Cost Containment describes typical responses to directives to cut IT costs and explains why some do far more harm than good. A stepwise approach to lasting IT cost containment is proposed, and a simple way to achieve it is explained.

Bringing Governance Upstream explains the advantages of pulling governance forward in the outsourcing deal process in order to give this critical oversight function a head start on assuring that anticipated outsourcing value is actually delivered.

If you would like to be placed on the distribution list for future Swingtide CIO monographs, please contact us info@swingtide.com.

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