Tech Firm Selection

Choosing the right technology vendor(s) is absolutely vital to a project’s success. A party needs to ask the following questions when choosing vendors for both short- and long-term projects.

Expertise

Does the firm have the technical expertise to carry out a particular project? If the party seeks a long-term partner, do they have or can they acquire the skills needed for longer-term goals?

Has the firm worked on similar projects in the past, and if so, what were the results?

Is the firm doing the work in-house or farming part of it out to other firms? If so, what is the relevant expertise of those firms?

Track Record

What is the company’s reputation and how long have the principal technologists been in the field?

Has the vendor worked on projects of this scale and with projects at the same — or higher — level of security? Explain.

Yes                             No

What was the experience of the vendor’s past clients or customers? Ask for references from former clients; a company’s unwillingness to reveal names should be considered a warning sign.

Political Considerations

Is the vendor working with other political groups or parties that may create a conflict of interest? If the vendor is working with other political parties or organizations, ensure that it has sufficient internal procedures to prevent the improper passing of information from one team to another.

Yes                             No

Do individuals within the company, particularly at a high level, have political relationships that the party needs to take into account? Explain.

Yes                             No

Does the vendor have a political past or a political identity that may cause a problem, such as individuals with a criminal past working at a high level? Explain.

Yes                             No

Is anyone on the vendor’s staff working with other political groups or parties on his or her own personal time that the vendor is aware of? Explain.

Yes                             No

Is there potential for personal gain, understanding that nepotism and corruption can play a role in certain environments? Explain.

Yes                             No

Are there other potential conflicts of interest or political landmines? Explain.

Yes                             No

Capacity

Does the vendor have the staff time available to work on a project of this scale? If not, can the company bring in subcontractors or temporary help, and if so, how will they be managed? Be sure to consider the project’s security needs.

Yes                             No

Are there other projects in the vendor’s pipeline that could cause delays in work on the party’s priorities?

Yes                             No

Longevity

Most projects will need to be maintained over time. Will this vendor be able to perform these tasks or is the company’s long-term viability in doubt? If the vendor’s longevity is in doubt, will other vendors be able to step in and take over maintenance tasks?

Yes                             No

Bidding Process

Must the party follow a competitive bidding process for vendor selection? If so, what are the party’s needs and budget?

Yes                             No

Are bids from vendors congruous with the party’s needs and budget?

Yes                             No

Has the party received competitive bids from an appropriate number of vendors? If not, how can it solicit more bids?

Yes                             No