Small businesses are just as vulnerable to cybersecurity threats as larger firms. In this article, we’ll discuss the first guide in a five-part series on using outside firms to reduce your cybersecurity risk. Developed by the Cyber Readiness Institute, we’ll show you how to identify your “crown jewels” and assess your cybersecurity risk. If outside help is required, don’t worry. As a non-profit organization, the Cyber Readiness Institute can provide free, straightforward advice to help you understand the difference between IT consultants and Managed Security Service Providers.
Author Archives: Steven A Nichols
Smart Contracts: Transforming the Supply Chain
Smart Contracts: Transforming the Supply Chain Supply chains have long been plagued with inefficiencies, ultimately leading to problems such as product delays, cost overruns, and inferior customer experiences. The introduction of blockchain technology provides a potential solution, with smart contracts at the forefront of this revolution. (Learn more February 1st when we present to theContinue reading “Smart Contracts: Transforming the Supply Chain”
IT Vendor Risk
IT Vendor Risk Management Co-authored by Steven Nichols, MBA & Dr. Linda Kostic Technology vendors and other 3rd parties create leverage, flexibility, and scale for their clients. They are an essential part of how businesses operate and create stakeholder value. These vendor relationships, however, also increase the risk of an interruption in service, exposure ofContinue reading “IT Vendor Risk”
One Page RFI RFIs and RFPs are nearly universally despised by both vendors and clients for the same reason – time wasted on companies which aren’t a realistic fit. As a vendor, I hated filling out lengthy RFI/RFP responses for blind opportunities with an insulated buyer. I knew many of these opportunities were pre-selected, andContinue reading “One-Page RFI”
Vendor Governance for IT Vendors
Vendor Governance for IT vendors By David Johnson MBA, & Steven Nichols MBA Just before close of business one Friday, I get a call from a frustrated ERP Director. “Our application managed services vendor isn’t working out.” he says. There are 18 months left in the contract. Now is a good time to start theContinue reading “Vendor Governance for IT Vendors”
SLAs and KPIs aren’t the point
SLAs and KPIs aren’t the point Technology Services Agreements use Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as a quantifiable proxy for the achievement of the intended business value. If these metrics are met, the business value will be created and the company’s ends achieved. Great vendors understand that these metrics aren’t theContinue reading “SLAs and KPIs aren’t the point”
Vendor scoring is a common part of every RFP or quarterly business review process. It’s an attempt to quantify objectively the quality of the vendor’s proposal or performance.
Technology Vendor References
Technology Vendor Reference Calls Most RFPs include a requirement for reference calls with other clients who have had good experiences. These calls tend to lack candor and depth. Honest feedback is rare. Vendors use only their happiest clients as references, and references hesitate to bring up bad news as it might impact their relationship withContinue reading “Technology Vendor References”
Vendor Management Skills
Vendor Management Skills vs. Team Management Skills Many IT leaders struggle with the transition from managing internal delivery teams to managing an external service provider. They can hamstring the vendor and limit their effectiveness by micromanaging, meddling, or nitpicking the way the service is delivered. Managed services agreements include the “Management of the Service.” DuplicatingContinue reading “Vendor Management Skills”
3 Layers of Quality
3 Layers of Quality for a Technology Services Firm In evaluating the quality of delivery from a technology services firm, I consider their performance from 3 perspectives. Is the vendor meeting contract terms? Is the vendor meeting business needs? And, is the vendor performing well in context of what’s available in the market?