How to Obtain a Fair IT Contract?

Nearly all negotiations in whatever subject are considered tricky. There are too many things to consider and learn carefully before reaching the final validation. This also applies to IT contract where the purchaser – in this case is you – has quite less experience than the vendor you are about to have an agreement with which has experience and extensive training in agreement expertise that benefits the company. To help you manage such an imbalance condition and do you a favor; you may consider of taking a negotiator like an IT consultant or an attorney to bridge your needs with the vendors of information technology.  However, you are highly recommended to also educate yourself on the negotiations to help you get the best benefit from the agreement. Make sure that every step you make throughout the selection process is carefully done because those steps determine what kind of agreement you will finally sign.

The following is several tips to help you obtain a fair IT contract:

- Expand your field by choosing at least two vendors

The ideal step is to determine two vendors with equal support, functionally and other requirements to qualify your need.  You can let both companies know that you have selected two vendors, and the deal is about the terms and price, of course, before negotiating with them for the ultimate leverage. Never tell the vendor that they are the only vendor you are considering that can answer your problems. They may offer you a lower price and accelerated services.

- Make the best use of your payment as a leverage

In general, you will make the payment when certain achievements are done and implemented. Such a payment may become an indication that you and your vendor are getting along well as a team and performed the schedule on time. Make sure that you do not make your final payment until at least two months after the new system you purchase is running well. This effort will motivate the vendor to do the necessary correction on any problems that may occur during those times.

- Make sure that you do not have to pay for the services you no longer need.

After the IT contract is signed, it is usually placed in the file drawer. Some company make the best use of this situation by issuing renewal clauses that favor them. As a purchaser you are recommended to negotiate such a clause and make an agreement upon the price that favor both the vendor and the purchaser i.e. you.

- Mind about the IT contract you are about to sign

A clear and readable document is what the vendor should provide so that you – as the buyer- do not overlook any crucial clause

- Do your documentation

You should be alert that all of your IT agreement should be written and clarified officially. 

In order to achieve the best deal, you should be patient, vigilant and stay alert even on the small and minor things people usually neglected. This effort is meant to grant you and your institution to get ultimate protection against any potential risk while providing you with good value from the IT contract. 

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