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5 Questions to Ask Any Tech Vendor: A CIO's Guide

By: Annie on Jan 25, 2019 2:10:00 AM
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With so many options available to administrators today, choosing the right LMS, SIS, or mobile system for their institution is easier said than done. We’ve enlisted the help of Michael Mathews, Oral Roberts’ VP of Innovation and Technology (and professional vendor-vetter), to go over the criteria he uses when purchasing a new digital system.

What You’ll Learn

  • Compare the vendor’s mission statement to ensure alignment with the institution’s goals.
  • Take note of the vendor’s willingness to listen.
  • Question whether or not the system is ROI positive.
  • Identify if the implementation staff is qualified.
  • Determine if this new system will integrate well with other systems on campus.
  • Full Webinar here

Do Your Visions Coincide? - “Product-Fit Measurement”

In order to determine whether or not a vendor would make a good partner, the institution must first review the vendor’s mission/vision and make sure that it aligns with its own vision statement. Michael Mathews refers to this step at the “Product-Fit Measurement.” If a vendor’s vision does not coincide with that of the institution then a partnership based on mutual understandings and fundamental beliefs cannot occur. 

Is the Vendor Attentive to Your Needs? - “Relationship-Fit Measurement”

While it is important to have a passionate digital-vendor who is excited about their product, CIOs must be weary of vendors who talk more than they listen. Ideally, this relationship would be classified as an ongoing partnership, rather than a one-time transaction. Therefore, it is important that the vendor listens to the institution’s needs attentively, rather than try to “sell” their product. Mathews refers to this measurement as the “Relationship-Fit.

Will You Get a Positive ROI? - “Performance-Fit Measurement”

One of the first questions Michael Mathews asks any potential tech-partner is: “is the product cloud-based?” One reason for this concern is simply due to CIOs not having enough bandwidth to worry about what’s going on on-campus. Another reason for this question is that cloud-based systems are simply more cost-effective. Oftentimes, institutions don’t have the funds to invest in the security required to host all systems on-site, making cloud-based systems the perfect solution. 

Are the Vendor’s Staff Qualified? - “Vendor-Fit Measurement” 

5 Questions to Ask Any Tech Vendor

The fourth factor that Mr. Mathews considers when choosing a tech-vendor is the “Vendor-Fit.” When it comes to implementing a new system on campus, a CIO should look in partnering with a vendor that will assist in the product’s launch. By providing support teams that are capable of implementing their products successfully, CIOs can rest easy knowing that their new systems will have the best chance of making a positive impact on campus. 

Can the New Product Integrate Seamlessly? - “Integration/API-Fit Measurement”

In order to maintain a seamless campus ecosystem that will ultimately benefit students and faculty, CIOs should be conscious of a new system’s integration and API-Fit. A new product should not disrupt the pre-existing systems on campus, but rather integrate seamlessly with them in order to create the most technologically fluid experience possible.

Click here to view Michael Mathews' Digital Transformation Index, or watch our recorded webinar with Mathews here.

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