What do CIOs look for in a technology partner?

Three CIOs discuss the traits they want to see if they’re going to engage with a partner in a major technology deal

A panel of CIOs has explained what they are looking for when choosing new technology partners.

Speaking at the European Channel Leadership Forum, from Computing’s sister title Channel Reseller News, the CIOs explained that they are principally looking for experience, resilience and honesty.

Karl Hoods, CIO at Save the Children, emphasised the need for experience.

“We’re looking for experience, as well as an understanding of their fit with our projects. We’re a charity so we have small budgets, so what additional benefits can we get from them from a proper partnership? How can we tap into their R&D and thought leadership? What’s less important is whether they’re in the Gartner Magic Quadrant,” he said.

Nick Ioannou, Head of IT at architectural practice Ratcliffe Groves Partnershi, explained that he needs to know that a new partner is on a soid footing financially.

“The first thing I want to know is are they going to go bust?” said Ioannou. “Also, are they offering something at a price we’re happy with? I’ve had quotes for things at one price, then it drops by 75 per cent and those were major companies, so it’s hard to trust them. Or they quote for two days work and you find out later it was only two hours. I’ve also had people doing research and learning as they go along. I can do that myself. It would’ve been cheaper to get an intern in to muddle through, if that’s all they can do,” he argued.

Andy Maxwell, Global Information Systems Director at Pyrotek echoed Ioannou, explaining that he had had similar experiences of consultants claiming expertise, then essentially learning on the job.

“I’m not paying for someone to learn the new technology on the job. I’ve had two costly experiences of someone doing exactly that, we basically paid for them to do their learning.

“I’m also looking for people with long-term employees. One partner I worked with had all their staff with us turn over every three months, we never had consistent people. So of course the project took longer, and that caused us issues internally,” he said.

The CIOs summed up at the end of the panel, calling for openness, honesty and transparency from prospective partners.


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This article was originally posted on https://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/news/3016858/what-do-cios-look-for-in-a-technology-partner