Essential Guide

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Managing technology providers to meet business initiatives: A CIO guide

Managing technology providers is no easy feat. In this Essential Guide, learn to master IT vendor governance in order to meet business initiatives.


Keeping the organization running smoothly is a top priority no matter the field, and it's the CIO's job to ensure technology services and offerings aid -- not cripple -- business growth. That no longer means overseeing merely in-house infrastructure and services: Most enterprise IT leaders are now managing a slew of technology providers as well to ensure that procured services meet the business's needs and forward-looking initiatives.

Navigating the choppy waters of managing technology vendors can be a tricky task. In this CIO Briefing, learn how CIOs and IT leaders in the modern enterprise oversee technology providers in the fast-paced, cloud-heavy, SaaS-enabled world of IT. Hint: It's not all smooth sailing.

This Essential Guide on managing technology providers is part of the CIO Briefings series, which is designed to give IT leaders strategic management and decision-making advice on timely topics.

1Governing service providers-

Vendor governance in a SaaS world

As businesses strive to provide enterprise applications and service offerings that are on par with consumer apps, governing software as a service (SaaS) becomes an increasingly complicated task for CIOs. As these news, tips and columns from SearchCIO demonstrate, IT leaders and experts still have much to learn about managing their SaaS providers and properly incorporating the spread of shadow IT.


Four CIO tips bring SaaS to the brainstorming table

If easier administration, automatic updates and global accessibility are on the mind of your IT team, SaaS might be your saving grace. In this tip, CIOs and experts offer advice for IT leaders hoping to pursue SaaS offerings and promote their plan to their executive board. Continue Reading


SaaS governance builds improved business relationships

What does it take to be the best business partner you can be? SearchCIO expert contributor Harvey Koeppel explains why SaaS governance practiced in a holistic manner is a big step toward aligning IT with the business. Continue Reading


Turn shadow app risks into business rewards

Rather than rally against shadow applications, CIOs should turn SaaS risk into IT strategy, former CIGNA CISO Craig Shumard recommends. In this feature story, read how unsanctioned SaaS services commissioned by the business can actually boost employee efficiency, productivity and innovation. Continue Reading


Placing blame: Shadow apps in the enterprise

Why are enterprise employees drawn to shadow applications? The most obvious answer: Their organization doesn't offer a comparable business app that gets the job done. So who's to blame for this? Experts discuss the candidates. Continue Reading


Hybrid cloud tempts business, but GRC stays top of mind

Businesses of all sizes have moved significant portions of their operations to the cloud, but even as its flexibility and accessibility heighten the appeal, some CIOs hesitate to go all-in. So what's the holdup? Governance, risk and compliance (GRC) concerns persist. Continue Reading


Go to school on vendor tools

Before diving into vendor selection, CIOs must do their research. Watch these SearchCIO videos to learn why fine-tuning strategies and understanding your organization's needs will lead to better vendor selection and management from the get-go.


Data analytics: Strategize and boost efficiency

Michael Koukounas, an analytics leader at Equifax Inc., offers CIOs advice on how to build a strong data analytics strategy and explains how managing data -- and by extension, the vendors who and analyze it -- can increase operational efficiencies.


Choosing the right open source software

What do you look for in an open source platform? William Caraher, CIO at von Briesen & Roper, suggests that CIOs think less about cost and security concerns, and focus more attention on examining the product development support.


Vendor management processes that limit risk

Expert Eric Holmquist explains how to create an enterprise vendor management process to optimize security and minimize risk, touching on due diligence best practices and managing cloud service providers.

3Cloud challenges-

Working with cloud computing vendors

It's no secret that cloud computing is a significant player in the IT sphere. Enterprise organizations turn to the cloud in an effort to increase employee efficiency, foster collaboration and provide storage for corporate data. But managing technology providers is part and parcel of cloud computing, and many security- and business-minded folks are still wary about security, data ownership and other such risks. The following SearchCIO case studies, tips and tweet jam recaps offer advice for dealing with the unique challenges posed by cloud computing and its providers.


Cloud service providers clear up data ownership questions

Who owns data that's hosted in the cloud? End-user agreements often state that customers are the keepers of their data, but that doesn't restrict provider access. Cloud service provider executives from Microsoft,, Rackspace and tackle the intricacies of SLAs and data ownership. Continue Reading


Microsoft, Amazon, Rackspace and Salesforce answer big cloud computing questions

Selecting the right cloud provider is no easy task. In this news story, executives from four major cloud providers answer your burning questions: Do cloud providers offer better security? How do cloud providers learn from outages? Continue Reading


Create an enterprise framework for managing cloud risks in three steps

Many enterprise environments lack the proper IT framework for managing the cloud. Mark Tonsetic and Jeremy Bergsman of consultancy CEB argue that proper management requires accounting for three deficiencies and treating with a three-step remedy. Continue Reading


Shifting the mindset: CIO focus turns to cloud ROI and agility

Can an effective cloud ROI formula and a focus on cloud agility be even more important than the potential cloud cost savings? During SearchCIO's cloud economics-themed #CIOChat, participants discussed why CIOs ought to shift their focus to new cloud horizons. Continue Reading


GRC regulations impel cloud providers -- and their customers -- to adapt

In this SearchCompliance tip, Information Security Forum global vice president Steve Durbin discusses why cloud service providers and customers must adapt to ever-evolving GRC regulations given increased legislation around data privacy, the rising threat of cybertheft and data access requirements. Continue Reading


Must-know service provider lingo

Managing technology providers is no easy task. Ensure your IT organization understands the necessary lingo before committing to vendors and providers.

5Vendor management advice-

Vendor management guidance from the pros

Many technology providers advertise the cost savings their products will supposedly deliver, but that doesn't mean that careful CIOs can shirk any of their vendor management responsibilities or that other departments won't try to pay for IT services themselves. In this roundup of tips and news from SearchCIO, learn who is taking over the enterprise technology budgeting and how to avoid some common IT service provider pitfalls.


Tech spending in the hands of business, not just IT

A Gartner Inc. study predicts that 35% of technology spending will be controlled by the business by 2015. SearchCIO uncovers which groups will make up the bulk of this shifted spending, and what the business expects of the CIO and IT department going forward. Continue Reading


CIOs continue to control tech budgets: Three reasons why

While Gartner predicts business will start to control more of the technology budget in the years to come, CIOs will remain central to tech budgets according to Forrester's Andy Bartels. Here, Bartels spells out the reasons why, starting with the fact that that CMOs don't want to go it alone. Continue Reading


Harnessing the potential of smaller PaaS cloud providers

When CIOs stick to what they know in regards to platform as a service (PaaS), are they holding their organizations back? Gartner's Yefim Natis discusses the pros and cons of partnering with PaaS startups and why CIOs should embrace younger providers for cloud services. Continue Reading


Free IT vendor selection templates

If your organization is looking to narrow down its list of vendor options, look no further than SearchCIO's roundup of free templates from around the Web. Scroll through for guidance on IT vendor selection, as well as social sharing and mobile device policies. Continue Reading


Five things CIOs should know about vendor relationship management

Gartner sourcing analyst William Snyder suggests that CIOs are spending too much time on vendor relationship management. In this piece, Snyder offers insights into what makes vendors tick and how CIOs can use vendor relationship management techniques to their advantage. Continue Reading


IT service provider management quiz for CIOs

With cloud computing and myriad as-a-service offerings entering the IT market, enterprises are increasingly turning to these outside providers to save them money, improve their businesses process and boost staff efficiencies. As such, CIOs and their teams must carefully manage their technology providers to get the most out of these arrangements. In this quiz, learn how CIOs can take on shadow apps, collaborate with the business on outside technology spending, team up with cloud providers and more.

Test your vendor smarts

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