Multinational insurance and finance corporation AIA New Zealand’s dream is to help make the country one of the healthiest and best protected nations in the world. That’s no small undertaking, and as CTO for the company, it’s Marc Hale’s core responsibility to help achieve that goal by providing a secure and stable platform on which the business can operate and innovate.

“As New Zealand’s largest life insurer and leading health insurer, our purpose is to help New Zealanders live longer, healthier lives,” he says. “With that in mind, we have a science-backed vitality platform that helps New Zealanders understand the current state of their health, remove barriers to better health, and create incentives to stay motivated to improve health through exercise and nutrition. For us, it’s about enabling the technology platforms that support and deliver on that.”

Of course, those platforms can only perform properly when the strength of the people behind them are optimized. So building a cohesive internal culture is integral to IT success, as well as achieving personal and professional goals.

“That is a really important part of the role,” he says. “What supports our organizational strategy from technology is building an engineering culture, being customer-obsessed and outcome-focused, and simplifying and modernizing our technology stack. We really live and breathe it by building a stronger bench around our talent pipeline.”

Part of those efforts is embracing internships, and encouraging people from more diverse backgrounds to get into tech roles by working with IT training and development accelerator Mission Ready, and TupuToa, which develops talent from the Māori and Pasifika community.

“I think there’s an underrepresentation in STEM fields from school,” Hale says. “As leaders, we can be more involved, and champion our organization when it comes to offering people shifting career opportunities. We live in a fast-changing world as we look after IT, and we’re custodians of systems and businesses that will hopefully outlive us. So it’s important to adapt, keep learning, and be able to drive teams forward through motivating them with new technologies and the right problems to solve.”’s O’Sullivan recently spoke with Hale about developing an ever evolving mindset for digital transformation that equally strengthens the business and engagement with customers. Watch the full video below for more insights.

On the approach to transformation: Each role I’ve had over the last 25 years is really a personal transformation. We take on broader roles, more senior roles, or other roles in the organization as we learn about the business, and each of those comes with its own challenges: language barriers, cultural barriers, acronyms, company culture. There’s a real amount of change that comes with every change in country or role. It’s a personal journey of discovery and a way of getting to know yourself better and deeper, too. There are a lot of challenges we face day to day, as leaders, but in each role we take on, we grow, hopefully learn more too, and become a little wiser. It’s always a worry if we treat transformation as a project with an end date. It’s about continued change. For me, it usually starts with an assessment of the current state—where are we, from a technology, people and skills perspective. That’s the foundation. From there, it’s important to engage key stakeholders. In my role, it’s the rest of the executive team and my boss, the CEO, who make sure we develop a shared vision, and are able to collectively prioritize once that vision has been set in motion. Things change, priorities shift. So you have to embrace change and understand that change management is a continual process. Monitoring progress and having a feedback system is critical as well.

On embracing culture: It’s rare that anyone would step into a greenfield environment and have something to build from scratch. Legacy systems are always there. How legacy they are will somewhat depend on the business and the role that someone stepped into. But legacy systems and processes—often very intertwined—are key things to look out for, and not underestimate in terms of the complexity they can bring. Budget constraints, of course, are ever present and need to be worked through very closely. One of my key relationships is with the CFO. We need to work closely to understand what the implications are of taking or not taking certain decisions in our modernization journey. I think culture is a big piece of this too. As technology leaders, we need to understand where the resistance to change is, and try to face into that early. It’s not an easy conversation. People are generally wedded to the way we’ve done things—I find myself in this group as well. It’s natural to want to be more efficient and more effective at what you do, so changing that dramatically is uncomfortable. And trying to understand whether it’s discomfort because of the fear of change, or through lack of skills is an important differentiator. Either of those can be tackled, but if you get them wrong and try and tackle it with the wrong solution, it can become harder.

On combating change fatigue: We have a high cadence for change. I think there’s no fear of that. But it needs to be balanced with a sense of progress and being able to set milestones for deliveries. Often things will need to run as projects, and other things will live as longstanding products as we adopt more agile ways of working. There’s a real balance to it and no real end date to transformation; it’s a continual improvement journey. Sometimes that needs to be accelerated, and acceleration can fit more naturally with transformation because it feels like a bigger change in a shorter timeframe. But overall, organizations should be comfortable being in constant transformation, and people should feel continuously challenged disrupting themselves. For me, ever present are the changes, challenges, and making sure we have stability and availability of our systems. That plays into change management and being able to address how continuous change is in an organization.

On collaboration with the leadership team: There are a number of stakeholders that the role has and we meet often. I have one-to-ones with each of the other execs and it’s where we can really get into the detail of what’s working, what isn’t, and where some of those priorities might be shifting. Ultimately, it’s about time and being accessible as an extension of the leadership team when they’re having key discussions. It’s also about making sure IT can be pulled into conversations at the right time, and not feel like an isolated part of the business. Being able to show adaptability is key. Setting forward a vision and being too stuck with a direction can often feel like IT is inflexible and not agile. So being able to demonstrate building platforms, and a capability that enables the business to go faster really builds trust. The more conversations I have with my boss and with my peers is always time well spent.

Change Management, CTO, Digital Transformation, IT Leadership

In today’s era of economic uncertainty, enterprises must embrace digital transformation to stay relevant. By 2026, global spending on digital transformation is expected to reach US$3.4 trillion, and this trend is accelerating. For most enterprises, digital transformation encompasses the infrastructure needed to facilitate computing, storage, and networking, while digital technologies such as the cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and advanced networks are critical enablers for future digital development.

To further the discussion on these technologies, Huawei hosted its 5th Industry Digital Transformation Summit at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2023 in Barcelona. The Summit acted as a platform that engendered meaningful conversations among global enterprise customers and digital industry leaders, and facilitated discussions on innovation and development in the realms of digital infrastructure and digital technologies.

Developing Tailored Digital Solutions for Industry Applications

As digital technology matured, so have the demands for tailored, scenario-specific digital solutions in various sectors. Solutioning requirements across industries, or even within industry verticals, often appear similar at first. However, to fully realise the benefits of digital innovation, organisations need to match specific scenarios to specific solutions.

At MWC 2023, Huawei showcased how it works closely with diverse global and local partners to provide a range of scenario-specific solutions for public services, healthcare, education, and electric power suppliers.

Despite having already launched more than 100 scenario-based solutions, David Wang, Executive Director of the Board, Chairman of the ICT Infrastructure Managing Board, and President of Enterprise BG, Huawei, emphasised the company’s continued commitment to deepen its roots in the enterprise market and go further in its pursuit of innovation.

“We are ready to use leading technologies and dive deep into scenarios. Together with our partners, we will enable industry digitalisation, help SMEs access intelligence, and promote sustainable development to create new value together.” added Wang.

David Wang delivered an opening speech for the Industry Digital Transformation Summit


Huawei’s scenario-based approach is already transforming diverse industries, including education and finance. Some notable examples include:

Huawei Smart Classrooms

In traditional school systems, teaching resources tend to be unevenly distributed due to infrastructure and economic differences. Over the last five years, China invested over 1.7 trillion yuan to solve this imbalance, developing smart classrooms in 90% of the country’s schools.

Students from all regions, rural and urban, now have the same access to immersive learning and high-quality teaching resources via a national smart education platform. At MWC 2023, Huawei announced the launch of the Smart Classroom 2.0 solution, leveraging Wi-Fi 7 and intelligent edge devices to enable smart teaching practices through cloud-edge synergy.  The smart classroom solution has opened a world of equal educational opportunities to students of all backgrounds.

Intelligent Finance

Mobile payment is fast becoming a global norm: two billion people were using mobile payments worldwide, with a total transaction volume exceeding US$17 trillion, with an annual growth rate of 27% in 2021. But not everyone has access to a mobile phone or formal banking facilities. In Ghana, two thirds of the population lack a bank card, and 60% of people use feature phones rather than smartphones.

Recognising these challenges, Ghana Commercial Bank launched the mobile money platform G-Money which allows Ghanaians to use their mobile phones for deposits and money transfers; this attracted over 700,000 mobile money users. At the heart of Mobile Money is Huawei’s mobile wallet solution, designed to enable basic financial services on feature phones and smartphones, just one example of Huawei’s work with global partners to build payment and micro-finance solutions. Today, Huawei’s Intelligent Finance Solution is a trusted service provider for 400 million users worldwide, from street vendors in China to migrant workers in Ghana.

Collaborating with Global Partners and Helping SMEs Access Artificial Intelligence

To build effective solutions that enable digitalisation, Huawei leverages its global partnership ecosystem of more than 35,000 partners. Huawei works closely with these partners to constantly build stronger capabilities within the ecosystem, while cultivating a deep pool of ICT talent. To date, Huawei has certified over 750,000 ICT professionals and has collaborated with over 2,400 talent alliances.

Huawei is also focused on enabling SMEs, by making it easier for small enterprises to get access to a range of digital infrastructure, technologies, expertise, and Artificial Intelligence.

Holding True to Social Values

As societies worldwide grapple with the effects of climate change and the challenges of ensuring environmental sustainability, technology is playing a critical and growing role in mitigating human impact on the environment.

Digital technology has immense potential to promote sustainable development while creating greater social value through innovation and collaboration. Whether it’s ensuring biodiversity through digital solutions or achieving energy efficiency through better-designed ICT infrastructure and networks, Huawei is constantly pushing boundaries, developing solutions that help industries address the growing challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss.

Driving Technology Forward for the Future

Research and development (R&D) are the key to innovative new products, services, and business models, but to deliver genuine value, R&D must be deeply embedded in the organisation’s mission and culture. Huawei’s commitment to innovation and driving digital technology is evident in its consistent commitment to R&D: 54.8% of Huawei’s workforce is engaged in R&D, working on US$132.5 billion worth of R&D investments in the last decade. Today, Huawei possesses one of the largest patent portfolios in the world, with active patents across over 45,000 patent families.

At MWC 2023, Huawei launched its latest innovations:

A new series of smart campus network solutions, built on Wi-Fi 7 and 50G PON technologies.

The first data centre ransomware protection solution, powered by network-storage collaboration.

Huawei Cloud’s KooVerse unified cloud infrastructure and new cloud services, such as LandingZone and GaussDB, to help enterprises of all sizes embrace and leverage the cloud.

“Digital technology is the right place for us to help industries go digital. Huawei will focus on connectivity, computing, cloud, and other digital technologies. We will continue inspiring innovation to drive industry digital transformation.” said Bob Chen, Vice President of Enterprise BG, Huawei, at the summit.

In his keynote speech, Bob Chen outlined how digital technologies have impacted the development of the world’s economy, cultures, societies, and environment.


Huawei today is a trusted partner to over 700 cities as well as 267 Fortune 500 companies around the world. Looking to the future, Huawei will continue to build on its strengths in the digital enterprise segment, grow with customers and partners, and lead innovation in digital infrastructure.

Learn more about Huawei’s latest innovations and how the company creates new value together with global partners here.

Digital Transformation

By Andy Nallappan, Chief Technology Officer and Head of Software Business Operations, Broadcom Software

The information technology that enables scientific and commercial breakthroughs, from precision medicine to digital transformation, demonstrates tech’s boundless potential to improve our world. Yet, tech practitioners have long traded progress for increased complexity.

IT complexity, seen in spiraling IT infrastructure costs, multi-cloud frameworks that require larger teams of software engineers, the proliferation of data capture and analytics, and overlapping cybersecurity applications, is the hallmark—and also the bane—of the modern enterprise.

With a better understanding of IT complexity, large enterprises can partner with their strategic vendors to reduce IT complexity and drive more innovation and business success from it.

Complexity Continues to Increase

Complexity exhausts IT budgets and workers—a widespread problem that worsened during the pandemic. Seventy percent of executives say that IT complexity has been a growing challenge for their organization over the past two years, according to Broadcom Software-sponsored research by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services. While 85% of executives state that reducing IT complexity is an organizational priority, only 27% said their company had managed it effectively.

Regarding complexity, David Linthicum, managing director and chief cloud strategy officer at Deloitte Consulting LLP, comments that over the last five years, people have been migrating to the cloud and using more complex distributed deployments, such as multi-cloud, edge computing, IoT, and things like that.”

The Harvard Business Review Analytic Services report Taming IT Complexity through Effective Strategies and Partnerships discusses the root causes of IT complexity and the penalties organizations pay for failing to undertake an effective complexity-reduction strategy. In the report, Linthicum describes multi-cloud as “the straw that broke the camel’s back” because rather than centralize all enterprise data in a single cloud, companies are expanding their investments in multiple areas and trying to stitch all the pieces together.

Seeking Solutions to IT Complexity    

Not all IT solutions work as intended. A recurring problem known as “legacy spaghetti” occurs when IT teams layer on new technology solutions “that are disparate, siloed, and unorganized,” according to the report.

Nearly two-thirds of executives in the study indicate that incompatible systems and technologies are the top factors fueling IT complexity. Not surprisingly, 67% of respondents said employees are frustrated or confused by persistent complexity, with three-in-five noting that it costs money and creates unnecessary additional work.

Though complexity has plagued data centers since the days of mainframes and punch cards, the study indicates that:

82% of executives view IT complexity as an impediment to success.81% believe that reducing it creates a competitive advantage.73% agree that IT complexity is an organizational expense.36% of respondents say that reducing complexity in security creates more resilient systems—less vulnerable to security breaches.

At long last, the tide may be turning. According to the study, most organizations have developed specific strategies to reduce IT complexity and create operational efficiency. While there are many steps a company can take to minimize complexity, starting with simpler tools, enterprises can also partner with firms that specialize in complexity reduction to boost IT agility. In the study, three-in-five executives agree that working with a trusted partner is key to reducing complexity.

The report does point out, however, that all complexity is not bad. Innovation is the cornerstone of success for nearly all companies today. But innovation can require a certain level of complexity, meaning that ongoing innovation requires continual attention to the complexity it inevitably will create. “Executing innovation initiatives at scale involves risk-reward calculations all along the journey because there will be missteps and even failures. Innovation initiatives almost always require individuals with diverse expertise and experience, including from outside the organization, to collaborate and experiment together,” says Linda Hill, the Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, where she is also chair of the Leadership Initiative. “The more complex whatever you’re trying to do, by definition, the riskier it is.”

“A partner might have done this dozens of times with several other companies, and so we learn from that and ask, ‘What were lessons learned, and how can we accelerate quick-win improvements?’” said Jason Duigou, CIO of Indianapolis-based Medxcel, a healthcare facilities services company, in the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services report.

Nine Ways to Improve IT Complexity

The report also highlights nine practices to enable firms to improve the way they manage IT complexity:

Develop a common language around IT complexity—identifying a project’s complexity risk helps firms prioritize resources better.Find a balance between innovation and complexity—too much customization creates burdens, adds costs, and spikes risk.Take a modular approach to transformation—tackle new features incrementally to reduce stress on legacy systems.Get the C-suite on board—the study indicates that not all senior executives understand the weight of the problem. Complexity reduction needs funding and executive support.Retire redundant technologies—phasing out incompatible systems and redundant technologies is the most common complexity-reduction program, according to the study.Connect systems and increase compatibility—API-first strategies can help reduce the complexity of connecting disparate applications and improve system interoperability.Train employees—organizations that excel at reducing complexity tend to train their employees to promote better utilization of existing tools and systems.Create feedback loops—mitigating complexity starts with listening to how customers and employees experience a service or product. Feedback can help eliminate unnecessary features that lead to unwanted complexity.Develop metrics and measure progress, but see things through—measuring progress against objectives and appropriate peer groups can help improve IT complexity reduction efforts.

The report points out that there are no easy or inexpensive ways to reduce IT complexity. Companies that stand out as leaders in this effort tend to focus on limiting rather than trying to halt the constant march of complexity. Download the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services report now to learn more.

About Andy Nallappan:

Broadcom Software

Andy is the Chief Technology Officer and Head of Software Business Operations for Broadcom Software. He oversees the DevOps, SaaS Platform & Operations, and Marketing for the software business divisions within Broadcom.

IT Leadership

The age-old debate on technology versus human capability remains inconclusive. But in this time of artificial intelligence (AI), analytics, and cloud, we’re seeing more opportunities to think of how humans and machines can come together as a team, rather than acting against each other. From diagnosing diseases and delivering effortless customer experiences to understanding human preferences and providing new customer insights, the human and AI partnership is evolving — and more in sync than ever. That’s making our lives simpler and more convenient. 

Gartner predicts that context-driven analytics and AI models will replace 60% of existing models built on traditional data by 2025. We will see new types of data — including unstructured data, such as audio, video, and images — being leveraged to give organizations a competitive advantage, get more value, and develop new use cases to set the stage for a new customer-driven era.  

This offers a glimpse into a future of close human and AI partnerships, where we think, collaborate, and create augmented by technology and business intelligence. This kind of partnership is important when the objective is to empower customers with personalized and relevant insights that can help them make informed decisions to buy products, subscribe to services, or use various offerings, which in turn adds to their trust and loyalty in a company. 

A real-life example of this can be found in an intelligent virtual agent or chatbot used by organizations to provide personalized service and guidance to people. Chatbots use AI and scripted rules to ask questions, identify the challenge, and resolve customer queries. 

Chatbots seem like a fool-proof solution to creating and delivering a good customer experience with fewer human resources, but recent Avaya research with Ipsos indicates that, based on their last interaction with a virtual agent, only 1 in 3 customers would recommend that business to others. This is because only 50% of them had their issue or concern resolved. This lack of success is due in part to the historical complexity of developing and delivering effective virtual agent solutions.    

Traditionally, it could take months to deploy a virtual chatbot, by which time consumer preferences, business processes, or even basic company information may have changed. Relying on a chatbot alone is a failure to leverage the potential of human-to-AI partnership.  

Avaya Virtual Agent removes this complexity, enabling organizations to quickly deploy Avaya-designed, pre-built, cloud-based self-service agents instead of building them from scratch. It leverages the Avaya Experience Platform™, which reimagines communications composability, providing customers with the option of constructing their own workflows or subscribing to pre-built experiences. This also enables businesses to participate in the Experience Economy by elevating their customer interactions beyond just making them more efficient to also making them more engaging to capture increased customer time and attention. The Avaya Experience Builders™ community can assist businesses with getting started or with addressing more advanced deployment requirements.

The ready-to-deploy virtual agent is designed to deliver the full benefits of virtual, AI-based communication experiences by leaning into the human-to-AI partnership. The solution reduces call volumes to live agents, decreasing average call wait times. It also increases agent productivity by providing important context to the humans who may have to solve more complex customer issues. Most importantly, though, it delivers true speed-to-value, enabling companies to infuse high-value capabilities into the customer experience in a matter of days. This means you can scale your AI efforts while leveraging an existing CX framework, building a true partnership between human and machine. 

That partnership is a win-win-win situation for the company, contact center agents, and the customer. The company can swiftly compose the kinds of interactions that its customers expect; the call center agent is given access to a single, easy-to-use dashboard that eliminates the need to train and helps dedicate more time toward meeting customer expectations; and customers appreciate the heightened level of responsiveness.

This advanced capability also does away with misconceptions about technology taking over jobs. This perception stems from the inability of companies to have an open discussion with employees about embracing AI across business functions. Using technology with a purpose is known to help employees focus more on business innovation and value-added tasks, rather than spending time on mundane work. It is a company’s responsibility to demonstrate and educate their employees on how technology can augment and support their work to achieve satisfaction.  

In today’s experience economy, human abilities can fall short, due in large part to the outweighed importance of heavy data analysis. But relying entirely on machines is hardly the right approach — organizations need the automated, fast-calculating power of AI. But they also need the human ingenuity that’s required to solve complex issues. The focus, then, should be on adopting AI technologies that enhance the skill sets of your employees. 

Artificial Intelligence

When it comes to IT resourcing during tough economic times, cutting costs in the wrong places can be dangerous. Short-term money-saving steps can be counter-productive – actually damaging the brand in the long term. Smart companies, however, are building powerful third-party Technology partnerships to maximise budgets and simplify their IT operations, so they can continue to grow and innovate.

Here are five key reasons why a third-party IT partnership makes sense:

Delivering a hybrid working environment

‘Work from anywhere’ is the new mantra for all forward-thinking organisations, but delivering a hybrid working environment in-house can be risky and expensive. Partnering with a trusted third-party, however, can help you deliver the following benefits safely and without breaking the bank: 

Hybrid working significantly reduces real-estate footprint and costs. Recent research by IWG suggests that firms can save up to £8,100 per employee annually.A recent study by PWC also suggests that hybrid working can boost productivity.Hybrid working models are also an investment in the future, providing resilience against future crises, such as a spike in covid-19 infections and public transport strikes.Retaining talent with slick hybrid cloud experiences

Collaboration, effortless productivity and user-friendly workplace tools are key to ensuring employee satisfaction in the ‘work from anywhere’ era. Get this wrong and your brightest talent is likely to vote with its feet.

Seamless hybrid-cloud experiences, however, ensure staff have the information and apps they need to get their job done with minimum fuss and from any location. Cloud-powered home working can also improve employee work/life balance, save staff as much as £300 a month on travel and ultimately boost employee retention.

Cutting costs and boosting innovation

Organisations with on-prem servers might think they can’t afford cloud migration with a recession on the horizon. The fact is they can’t afford not to. With guidance from a trusted third-party IT partner, organisations can find the most cost-effective mix of private/public/hybrid cloud, simplifying their complex IT systems, delivering significant long-term savings, while also boosting innovation.

That’s because the right cloud mix reduces capital expenditure on hardware as well as ongoing maintenance. It also increases enterprise agility and innovation, because cloud apps are faster and more cost effective to spin up and down, enabling businesses to experiment with new products and services.

Ensuring systems reliability and availability

Whether you’re providing IT services to external customers or internal stakeholders, systems reliability and availability are key to building your brand. Leading public cloud providers generally offer a 99.9% systems uptime guarantee, they maintain three copies of data at all times in different data centres, provide automatic access to backup servers to minimise downtime, and host apps on at least two servers in case of hardware failure. Few, if any on-premise data centres, can offer anywhere near these levels of reliability and availability without incurring huge cost.

Maintaining and increasing cybersecurity

Working with a trusted IT partner will enable you to audit your cyber security, ensure your resources (both in-house and out-sourced) are aligned to the real-world risks and your in-house cyber security team is focused on core risk-management activity.

With a recession looming and budgets being squeezed, IT leaders face a huge challenge, and they can’t do it alone. The answer is to reach out to a third-party IT provider and explore the benefits, cost efficiencies and opportunities that a sensitive mix of out-sourcing can deliver.

Contact Intercity now to find out how they can help your IT function prepare for the recession.

Education Industry, Hybrid Laptops, IT Management

What is vendor management?

Vendor management helps organizations take third-party vendor relationships from a passive business transaction to a proactive collaborative partnership. While working with IT vendors can help ease the burden on IT, it also raises concerns, especially around data, risk, and security. A sound IT vendor management strategy can help organizations determine which vendor best fits the company’s needs while keeping in mind relevant features, price, availability, risk and security, and compliance regulations.

As most organizations rely on multiple third-party vendors, complexities compound and juggling many vendor relationships can quickly overwhelm an already-busy IT department. Plus, to ensure the best service, businesses should avoid falling into a trap where they stick with current vendors out of ease and convenience, especially if the service, price, or features aren’t exactly what the company is looking for.

Instead, establishing a dedicated vendor management practice can help keep your organization and your vendors on task after the initial contract is signed, and help establish processes for continually evaluating vendor performance to ensure the relationship remains beneficial. Building strong relationships with vendors creates loyalty and reliability in the supply chain, and can help companies ensure they are delivering the best products and services possible.

Benefits of vendor management

Left unmanaged, vendor partnerships can quickly fall behind. But by establishing a point-person who is focused on managing that vendor relationship, a strong dynamic partnership can be formed. Building that relationship and foundation is one of the main goals and benefits of vendor management. Establishing and maintaining vendor management best practices can help save the company money, time, and resources.

Other benefits of an effective vendor management process include the following:

Creating more choices for your organization and finding better choices to create a vendor strategy that best suits the company’s budget and needs.Choosing between multiple vendors can create bidding wars, giving your company better rates and prices.Building stronger relationships with vendors will improve collaboration and communication when implementing technology or outsourcing resources.Vendor management can better support IT governance, helping organizations keep a close eye on compliance and risk management.With a strong vendor relationship, businesses can quickly identify any vendor issues before they become a bigger problem.Vendor management enables your organization to remain proactive instead of reactive by staying on top of vendor performance and efficiency.

Vendor management skills and responsibilities

Successful IT vendor management requires a solid base of technical knowledge. IT vendor managers must understand the intricacies of each technology, process, software, or tool outsourced to a third party. But it’s also a role that requires strong soft skills to communicate with vendors and to maintain those relationships.

The role of vendor management will vary by organization, depending on what products and services it creates. But for every company, vendor management requires researching, communicating with, and deciding on a specific vendor to meet organizational needs. You may have to renegotiate contracts, find the best deals, deliver comparisons between products to executive leadership, manage long-term relationships with vendor contacts, and keep an eye on how relationships evolve.

While the role of vendor management might fall under the realm of IT managers or IT operations managers, companies that work with a wide array of vendors often take the extra step to create an IT vendor management office (VMO) to oversee all vendor relationships. This department helps guide the organization through RFP creation to final implementation and helps IT leaders stay on top of vendor relationships with regular performance evaluations.

Some companies might not need an entire department for vendor management, but still want a dedicated internal role for vendor management. By hiring one or two people solely focused on managing vendor relationships, companies can ensure they’re getting the best deals, working with the right vendors, and staying on top of the latest technology. It also prevents vendor management from falling to the wayside, allowing contracts to expire or relationships to fizzle out.

Vendor management software

Vendor management tools and software are available to help organizations manage many vendor relationships at once. These tools can help IT leaders and vendor managers keep notes on different products, costs, services, and contract details.

IT vendor management tools and software can be useful for something as simple as keeping track of vendor contact information, phone numbers, and email addresses. Other tools may go as far as to deliver detailed reports on the cost-benefit analysis of certain contracts. They’re also useful for the research phase, as many also offer reviews and ratings on vendors or even offer lists of preferred vendors.

According to Capterra, the most popular and well-known vendor management software tools include:

A1 TrackerC1RiskContractor ComplianceDigital Purchase OrderGatekeeperOurRecordsPayEmPrecoroPromena e-SourcingProcurementExpress.comProquraSimpleVMSTandem SoftwareTikkitTorii

Vendor management job description

Vendor management jobs include roles such as IT vendor manager, recruiting vendor manager, IT project manager, IT technical project manager, and vendor business relationship owner, among others. Vendor management is also a skillset often required for roles such as IT manager and IT operations manager.

While the job description for vendor management roles will vary depending on the role and company, there are some general expectations you can prepare for. Vendor management jobs typically require the following:

Researching vendors and managing vendor relationshipsNegotiation and communication skillsAbility to work with external partners and suppliersUnderstanding of how to align service delivery needs with business goalsA willingness to work against KPIsAbility to change or develop new processes for managing vendorsExecuting contracts and navigating contract renewalsMaintaining compliance on terms and conditions

Vendor management salary

The average salary for an IT vendor manager is $130,183 per year, according to data collected by PayScale. Reported salaries range from $51,000 to $147,000 per year, with an average yearly bonus of $15,484.

Vendor management certifications

There are certifications you can earn to validate your knowledge with vendor management, including certifications specifically focused on risk assessment, contract management, and relationship management.

Available certifications include:

Certified Third Party Risk Assessor (CTPRA)Certified Third Party Risk Professional (CTPRP)Compliance Education Institute: Vendor Management Certification (CRVPM)International Association for Contract & Commercial Management (IACCM) Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) certificationSupplier Relationship Management (SRM) Certification Program

Vendor management education and training

There is a wide range of courses available, both online and in person, that you can take to develop or brush up on IT vendor management skills, including:

Global Knowledge Vendor Management Training courseInternational Associate of Information Technology Asset Managers (IAITAM) Vendor Management Advanced Study courseInternational Computer Negotiations (ICN) Cloud contracting courseInternational Computer Negotiations (ICN) IT contracting boot campPM College Vendor Relationship Management courseThe Training Associates (TTA) Vendor Management trainingIT Leadership, IT Strategy, Outsourcing