Five ways to ‘speak CIO’ to get contract management approval
Is there anyone as busy as a Chief Information Officer (CIO) these days?
It seems the one constant in IT infrastructure is the constant change of priorities: from networks and VPNs to bring-your-own-device networks; from antiviral software to cyber security layered defenses; from software-as-a-service to internal cloud-based solutions.
Keeping up with rapidly changing tech (and threats) make the CIO one of the busiest persons in any organization. CIOs are also the gatekeepers when it comes to approvals on the purchase of any new software that takes up even a megabyte of space within a company’s vital IT infrastructure.
If you or members of your team are trying to get a CIOs attention on the decision to implement a contract management solution, it helps to “speak CIO.”
That means framing the need for a contract management solution in a way CIOs will understand. And it’s not nearly as difficult as learning another language.
Here are five great points to get the attention of any CIO if they need a little help approving a contract management solution.
- 1. A database created is a database recoverable. By taking your company’s unorganized mass of files and documents and creating a new database, you are ensuring that it can be stored, and eventually recovered. No disaster recovery plan can succeed without first knowing what is recoverable. Unrelated documents stored in multiple formats on multiple drives or even as paper in filing cabinets does not qualify as “recoverable.”
- 2. Minimal burden on internal IT resources. With a contract management solution like Contract Assistant, you can say with confidence that you won’t be hounding the IT department for help. Unlike some other solutions, Contract Assistant is purely for contract management, and was specifically designed for users with consumer-level knowledge of basic office software to operate. You can also rest assured of no burden on IT thanks to Blueridge Software’s excellent customer support, which you can read about here, here and here.
- 3. Reduce security anxiety: Contract Assistant is client/server based. Of all the critical concerns that beset modern CIOs, keeping up with cyber security threats is one of the largest. Now, with the growing trend of cloud services, CIOs need to concern themselves not only with internal cyber security, but with the security practices of vendors as well! Having an easy-to-use and client/server based solution may not be trendy – but for CIOs it may be a definite plus to know that key and sensitive information won’t be guarded by third party vendors.
- 4. A contract management solution will help the IT department as well. Don’t forget: even IT departments need a good contract management solution. Any CIO worth her or his salt knows that monitoring service-level agreements on vendor-served parts of IT infrastructure is a high priority. Because of the attention to specific hourly or daily service levels, it’s a good question to ask if anyone is actively managing all aspects of vendor contracts. Are they implementing interim reviews? Monitoring automatic renewals and end dates? Are they able to make notes and easily refer to contract records?
- 5. It will help with big data efforts. CIOs are increasingly being asked to find new ways to take advantage of enterprise data gathered internally. A contract management solution such as Contract Assistant makes generating reports easier – and makes highly customized reports possible as well. Being able to accumulate and use contract data (financial summaries, recording of breaches or missed deadlines, etc.) will help any organization be more efficient.
The important thing to keep in mind when trying to share with CIOs the importance of contract management is this: it is an easy solution to implement and results in database-stored information that is critical to the enterprise. CIOs may be especially aware of the “opportunity cost” of lost information, so you may not even get through all five of the above points before getting approval.
[About the author: Todd Hyten is a former business journalist who now writes about B2B topics and consults on content marketing. You can find him on Twitter and Google+.]