IT can help your business grow, in a more profitable and efficient way.
Engaging with any form of supplier has its benefits, but there are also associated risks, especially with IT and technology. To better manage these risks, my recommendations are to check and agree the following before going ahead with the proposal, quote and terms and conditions of trade from the supplier:
Check the scope of the project is clear and unambiguous. It should be as specific as possible, and describe exactly what you are buying or commissioning. A vague or ambiguous proposal or quote leaves ‘wiggle room’ for the supplier and customer, which may be useful if a trusted relationship has already been formed beforehand. However, if this is a new relationship, ensure you are happy with the wording, and ideally ask someone else to review it.
Ensure that everything you provide the supplier is still yours at the end of the project, even if the supplier has changed it or enhanced it. Examples include graphics design, photographs and other images.
All new images created or photographed should be yours too. Make sure that the wording in the proposal says this explicitly. By law the copyright falls with the creator by default. E.g. if you are commissioning a photographer, you will need to ask for the copyright of the images after you have paid for them.
Web design files
If the supplier is a web designer, check that the ‘HTML, CSS, source code, scripts, and all other digital files that constitute your website’ are your copyright after you have paid the supplier. If you don’t have this in place and want to move to a new web design agency in the future, you will find yourself in a sticky mess.
A small amount of time checking these items before engaging will help to keep the relationship with your IT suppliers positive and fruitful.