What CIOs Must Know to Negotiate Better Deals

Danny Ertel knows a bad negotiation when he sees one. And often, when dealing with CIOs, he sees a number of telltale signs of deals going bad.

That doesn’t bode well for many IT executives, especially in a time where their job description is undergoing dramatic change. Today, IT organizations are becoming leaner, focusing increasingly on core competencies and farming out projects seen as non-essential.

Ertel, a co-founder of Vantage Partners, a consultancy that helps companies negotiate and manage business relationships, deals with providers and customers, sometimes together. And he’s documented the lessons from various negotiations in a new book, The Point of the Deal: How to Negotiate When Yes is Not Enough (read excerpt), which he wrote with colleague Mark Gordon.

What does Ertel see as the biggest problems CIOs run in the process–before getting to the negotiating table and after?

For starters, some CIOs never make it to the table. Instead, they work on the planning but leave the deal-making to legal, procurement or outside consultants. “We’re seeing that the CIO and senior people in the IT organization are very much a part of figuring out what to outsource, who to outsource to, negotiating parts of the deal,” Ertel says. “The CIO needs to drive the kind of deal they want to have, and the kind of relationship they want to have, at the table.”

With CIOs excluded–or excluding themselves–from nailing down the fine points of an alliance or outsourcing deal, chaos can ensue. Ertel offers three tips to avoid problems before and after executing the deal:

Next Page: 3 Ways to Avoid a Bad Deal

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