PIKOM CIO Chapter: Fine tuning the IT vendor-user dynamic

Needless to say, the PIKOM CIO Chapter serves as a platform for the CIO community to become more informed about available and upcoming technologies, as well as get to know vendors and other CIOs.

But perhaps best of all, is the reference points that these IT heads can share with one another. CIO Chapter chairman Hood Abu Bakar described it, “So, you don’t feel so alone. It becomes less of a gamble whenever you start to go on a new platform.”

So, being able to exchange reference points and assuming the role of ‘sounding boards’ are important for these CIO members.

Hood cited the example of service desk support costs.

During a discussion about how much it costs each of their organisations, those who discovered they were spending way above the average, had cause to investigate the reason behind higher than usual costs.

Sharing and discussions are frank to the point that CIOs can say to each other, ‘In my environment, this succeeded or failed when I did it this way. You should (or should not) do it this way.’

Frank dialogue
Hood opined that when IT users are more knowledgeable and informed, vendors tend not to gloss over the downsides or disadvantages of their technologies. “Some (vendors) acknowledge weakness in certain areas,” said Hood.

It is certainly a right step in the direction of fostering better understanding between IT users and IT vendors.

Hood also acknowledged, “Sometimes, it’s the users fault. If the user does not meet prerequisites to implement a particular technology, it will reflect badly on the product.

“This gives the vendor the opportunity to say, ‘Hey, look even though this particular user did not do well, it was because of so and so factors’,” Hood illustrated.

Overall, far as hype is concerned, it gets reduced substantially because this close-knit community of CIOs that helps keep vendors ‘honest.’

This gives the user-vendor dialogue a chance to deepen, become frank and more substantial.

Hood also has a message for these tech vendors: “Engage the whole lot of us. If we are happy, word-of-mouth can be a very powerful thing.”

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