03 September 2019

IT procurement

Technology is taking an increasingly important role in business. Whether a business is looking at updating its back office software systems, creating apps which complement its products, or exploring ways to exploit the increasing quantities of data available, it is common to see investment increasing in technology products and services.

Some companies are seeing heightened demand from their customers to use technology solutions to provide greater visibility and traceability of products and orders, while others see the benefits of using technology to drive efficiencies within internal processes. When making an investment it is important to ensure that appropriate contracts are put in place to make certain that the business gets what it is expecting.

Not all businesses have the technical capacity to carry out technological transformation in-house and will often need to procure a range of consultancy services as well as hardware and software services. This may particularly be the case where the relatively short term duration of the project means that permanent recruitment is not required and could range from an interim IT director to specialist consultants advising on particular elements of the project.

Both infrastructure and software are increasingly moving towards ‘as a service’ provision models, with it being common to use cloud based resources to provide greater flexibility and scalability. However, it is important to ensure that adequate contractual protection is put in place to ensure that you have sufficient guarantees around the availability and performance of business critical systems.

This may also include service levels for fault rectification to give you comfort that if something goes wrong the supplier is obliged to remedy it. It is also essential to ensure that where personal data is hosted by a third party, appropriate contractual protection is put in place to meet GDPR requirements.

There is still demand for more bespoke development work, particularly in relation to mobile apps complementing the main business model. Businesses entering into this sort of arrangement need to have clarity around ensuring that the development meets its requirements, as well as seeking to ensure that IP ownership in any bespoke coding is transferred to the business by the developer.

If you would like more information on the topic covered above, or would like to discuss how this might affect your business in more detail, please contact any member of our Commercial team whose contact details can be found here.

This article is the second in our 'Commercial Talking Points from 2019' series, which offers insights and guidance on the key topics from this year. To view all of the articles, click here.