19 June 2008
A lack of trust between purchasers and large technology suppliers is creating difficulties when buying IT.
According to a survey of 200 buyers by Microsoft, 63 per cent said software procurement was an area where dealing with suppliers had become increasingly difficult. In addition, 65 per cent thought the complex purchasing of licences - the right to use software - contributed to a delay in the installation of technology.
Dervish Tayyip, head of legal for Microsoft in the UK, said purchasers are often cautious of large IT providers because of their power in the market. "Buyers tend to view large software companies as a law unto themselves and against the customer. They believe vendors hold enough innovation to dictate terms to them."
"The survey shows part of the problem is the lack of vendor accountability. There needs to be an industry-wide initiative to ensure transactions are conducted with a customer agenda."
Gillian Austin, legal director of technology law firm Olswang, said the process was complicated because there could be a number of variables in an IT contract and suppliers will often have their own agendas.
She said buyers should make it clear to vendors what they want early in the process.
Choosing software licences that work for your organisation is important, she added. She said some IT suppliers will provide licences for computers - rather than individual employees - that could help to reduce complexity.