Vendor Advantages: Note to IT Buyers

Jim Howard
By Jim Howard
March 13, 2013

Note to the IT Buyer:

For the IT buyer, there are advantages in buying from a company that can do pretty much everything. There is a solution to every request that comes from your internal customer. Presumably, there is an added advantage in that these different solutions, coming from one vendor, will all work well together (hopefully!). The problem with the “everything from one vendor” approach is that the internal customer (the marketer) loses required elements like speed, flexibility, vendor understanding of the marketer’s specific needs, innovation, economics, and on-demand services models. All of these requirements for the marketer are absent from the Gartner Magic Quadrant evaluation list, in favor of breadth of solution (completeness of vision) and ability to do anything (ability to execute).

When buying in the name of Marketing, it is incumbent on the IT team to put these marketing-driven criteria at the front of the list. In doing so, many IT organizations find that they start to break apart the idea of a CMS/Portal stack behind the firewall from content platforms designed to make marketing successful. In other words, the IT buyer or influencer has to step back from the portal and other content projects run behind the DMZ and ask if it’s really wise to lump them together with the tools marketing needs. Really, it’s time to call the tools IT manages one thing and the platform to enable marketing another, evaluate them separately, and purchase them independently. Of course, this adds the requirement that content and functions from the two systems can easily be mashed together in the presentation layer and share assets across systems whenever required.

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