Among the range of oversights that arise when undertaking an RFP for a marketing technology solution, omitting to involve the IT team often comes up. It’s understandable, with the pressure to issue documentation and select a solution as quickly as possible once an RFP project is underway. But solutions based on unfamiliar platforms, installed by providers with no handover or without any provision in the event of technical fault, are storing up trouble.
Clearly, taking into account your IT team’s views on the platform, software and deployment model of any new solution is crucial. Hardware, networking facilities, integration, support and maintenance are all bound to need some input from IT. Get them on side from the outset by asking for their views and experiences of the technical side of the proposed solution. Assessments should also be made for resilience, back-up arrangements, recovery procedures and fault logging procedures. Source code escrow may also be a consideration as well as adherence to other IT policies. Ensuring the adoption of the eventual solution as a formally supported business system will make maintenance, development and support much easier to obtain as a business as usual process.
It is also likely that within the IT team you will find individuals with valuable experience of undertaking RFPs across other technology solutions. Although perhaps lacking subject matter expertise in relation to marketing specific systems, technology professionals’ frequent involvement in procurement initiatives can be drawn on to great benefit. This might include document compilation, response assessment, technology fit and contract negotiation. These skills are overlooked to the detriment of the overall initiative. Keep IT in the loop to ensure a successful outcome to your data-driven marketing technology solution procurement.
- Ensure IT are involved from the early stages of any marketing technology selection process in order to gain their support and commitment to the final solution.
- Ask IT to review solution providers’ proposals and ensure fit with the environment, together with other considerations such as resilience and disaster recovery.
- Utilise IT experience in other technology procurement initiatives to ensure appropriate scrutiny of all aspects of the process.
Read more tips on choosing marketing technology in our white paper Worst practices in RFP management, available for download now. Additional material for this article contributed by Geoff Downer.