Stories by Bart Perkins

Nothing is ever completely outsourced

An outsourced project is out of your hands, right? Well, no, not entirely. In fact, that belief is a common misconception that can lead to trouble.

Get your vendor's A team

Salespeople peddle the best-case scenario. When you're shopping for systems integration, outsourcing or other complex services, the salespeople will typically assure you that service delivery will be outstanding. They promise that the transition will be completed smoothly by a top-notch implementation team and that ongoing support will be provided by an equally talented operations team. They may well mean what they say, but the sad truth is that not every client can get the A team; somebody has to get the B team or in some cases, the C team.

IT funding potholes

Organizations should know how to budget and pay for IT products and services -- they've been doing so for more than 50 years. This is not rocket science. Unfortunately, many organizations continue to make the same mistakes year after year.

The best of jobs, the worst of jobs

One of the most challenging -- and rewarding -- jobs in IT is CIO in a mid-tier organization ($100 million to $1.2 billion in revenue). Many mid-tier organizations are like middle school students, acting very childishly one minute and incredibly sophisticated the next. Management styles, process formality and organizational practices vary widely. Mid-tier organizations are large enough to require the robust systems, formal operating policies and mature governance structures of larger companies, while still needing to approach many tasks with the informality and flexibility of a small company.

How to get a better outsourcing deal

IT leaders can't expect to have the upper hand in an outsourcing negotiation. Whether you're negotiating the initial contract, an extension or a change order, the outsourcer normally has the advantage.

Lessons to be learned from a project nightmare

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is in the middle of an Oracle Financials implementation that has gone horribly wrong. Its experience should serve as a cautionary lesson for enterprises planning major projects.

Outsourcing contracts: Foundations for success

Most business and IT leaders learned to negotiate with outsourcers 15 or 20 years ago, when the virtual corporation was seen as the organization to emulate. Although virtual organizations have faded, they provided valuable lessons regarding how to structure outsourcing contracts. Unfortunately, those lessons are being lost. Over the last few years, I have encountered multiple organizations making "first-time buyer" mistakes when negotiating with outsourcers.

Getting your board's buy-in on cybersecurity

High-profile data breaches continue to make news, and you can bet that your board of directors has noticed. Breaches can result in huge remediation costs, litigation and lost revenues resulting from a damaged reputation. Board members pay attention to those things.

Half-baked mergers

It can take years after a merger has been declared "complete" for the <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/article/2564041/it-management/methodical-merger.html">IT processes and systems to be truly merged</a>. Over the years, we've all seen stories in the business press about this sort of thing, and yet it keeps happening, despite what can be dire consequences.

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