The Judicial Commission of Victoria (JCV) is an independent body established under the Judicial Commission of Victoria Act 2016 to investigate complaints about judicial officers and members of VCAT. Pitcher Partners Consulting recently worked with JCV to assist them in procuring a digital complaints management system.
This procurement presented some unique challenges such as compressed time frames and some not so unique issues like managing data sovereignty in relation to cloud technology and finding the best value for money solution for a small set of users.
Below are some of the key learnings we took from our work with JCV that will apply to most IT Government procurement processes.
Key Considerations for a Successful IT Procurement Process
- Consider Data Sovereignty
Due to concerns about privacy Victorian Government departments and agencies are likely to have a preference for information to be stored in Australia. With the normalisation and desire for cloud computing across government, early consideration needs to be given to what information can be stored in which locations. Early communication of this to vendors may result in self-elimination from the process, but will assist in identifying the right partner. This can also help to establish some early phase evaluation criteria if undertaking a selective process.
Visit the Victorian Government's Enterprise Solutions for more information on getting ready for procurement of cloud solutions.
- Know the Vendor Landscape
Every organisation wants the best solution and the best vendors to implement it. What may not be considered in the first instance is balancing wants against the views of the vendor or Systems Integrator (SI). Is a top tier vendor going to see your organisation as their target market and therefore a valuable client? A miss-match of vendors or SI’s may impact the quality of responses, value for money achieved or the working relationship after entering a contract.
Knowing the vendor landscape as well as having honest conversations about who is the best fit for your organisation or business unit early on may save you both cost and effort during implementation and the procurement process itself.
- Manage your Critical Path
Any professional would prefer more time to undertake planning and execution of a procurement, however a number of factors may impact how much time you can put into planning such as unidentified needs becoming a priority, multiple internal or external stakeholders or multiple concurrent priorities. Too much time in planning can come at the cost of providing a fair and reasonable time for the market to respond. This not only impacts vendors or SI’s, but may also impact value for money achieved through getting a less than optimal solution. If you do find you have less time than you would like to undertake your project, consider your options for fast-tracking your process such as engaging a consultant to identify the solution prior to approaching the market, rather than letting vendors and SI’s propose solutions which may not suit your business.
If seeking to undertake an innovative approach, speak to a Procurement Advisor. Just because it is not the norm doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
Written by Chris Nash in conjunction with Manny Vassal and Simone Ozbek.
“As a new business undertaking a large IT procurement, we valued Pitcher Partners input and technical knowledge in selecting a solution which will suit the needs of our business now and in the future. Pitchers were willing to go the extra mile to ensure we obtained the best possible option in the market. As a small team, we could not have achieved the great result that we did without Pitchers' commercially astute advice and unwavering support. We really appreciated how available and friendly the team were, Pitchers was really impressive in terms of their willingness to think outside the box about procurement strategies. We also valued Pitchers flexibility in dealing with our internal process requirements.”
- Judicial Commission Victoria