If you have taken on a new CIO post, you
are probably well familiar with the following story. The first time you take on
the CIO mantle, you are eager, enthusiastic, and ready to get things up and
running. But before you jump into all the interesting prospects that the role has
to offer, you need to take care of the things that the previous CIO has left
behind. The situation you’re dealt with needs to be assessed.
But, first things first. Assessing the
situation is the first step. We need to get a grasp of what and whom we are
actually working with. Hence, we need to do the math. The math on who our
vendors are, what are they doing for us, what will they cost us.
And then another big wave comes. You’ve
been hit with the harsh truth, splash! No
overview in sight. If you are lucky, you’ll find a folder or two. Maybe even
some papers on the bottom of the drawer. This is the point where we tend to roll
up our sleeves. Open up a new Excel doc, and start piecing the puzzle. We’ve
been here many times before, starting from scratch, building that infamous
Excel contract list, and it’s always the same process. Once you have an
understanding of all the contracts that you need to deal with, the second step
comes into play.
The financials. Yes, the budgeting and the forecasting.
Obviously, we need a comprehensive financial report, containing all this info
in order to figure out the cost baseline. Or simply put, to comprehend what is
already contractually agreed.
And it’s not so easy. Forgetting to
terminate some contract (that quite possibly you might even not know that even
exists) seems to be given. But once the invoice comes, you will know. But at
that point, it will be too late to do something about it. But, I as a
professional and furthermore as a person, was more than relieved to find out that
I was not the only one. After talking to a lot of colleagues, I was assured we
shared the same problem.
Are you thinking about all the fancy P2P
solutions? Or about those complicated ERP systems? Of course, I’m aware of them,
but I (and my colleagues) were in need of something simple that gets the job
done. I had no use of all the bells and whistles. What I needed was a
user-friendly contract management solution that will back me up. Oh, and save
me from all those extra hours of work, and remind me to terminate that
contract. Paying for things that I don’t need isn’t my thing.