Re: RFP, SLP and IT Governance.
A request for proposal is a document that is sent by an organization to the suppliers inviting them to present a proposal to provide goods or services. The request for proposal (RFP) to be sent by the suppliers indicates how the supplier is going to perform the work, the time to be taken, options in pricing and terms for payment. This document is known to be time consuming because the supplier is prompted to address how he is going to provide a come up with a creative solution to a business problem or need. It’s a very effective way to source goods and services. This document should not be used to inquire for prices, or information from suppliers or for competitive bidding. The main reason for this document is to seek solutions from what the supplier has to offer to the business through his proposal and subsequent delivery of the required goods or services. The benefit of using this document is that the business will be able to handle complex projects and take care of potential project risks.
A service level agreement (SLA) is an agreement between the business and a service provider of computing services for example an internet service provider (ISP). This agreement quantifies the minimum acceptable service to the user (Ross and Weill 89). The SLA provides the following details: the duration of the agreement, description of the service or application, the service overview, the critical periods, peak periods as well as the cost and impact of outage.
It governance is concerned with encouraging the right behavior in the use of IT by specifying decisions, rights and accountability framework of IT users (McGaughey and Adusumilli 73). The framework of IT governance consists of principles, decision making hierarchy and reporting & monitoring processes. The aim of IT governance is to ensure that the investments made in IT by are organization are well utilized and yield desirable results thereby adding value to the business. It is a subset of corporate governance strategy meaning that it has to be in tandem with the corporate governance strategy for the smooth running of IT operations.
According to a study done by MIT/Slone on 250 organizations, IT governance is a crucial tool that can be used to effectively predict the value generated by an organization from IT. IT governance mainly focuses on information technology systems, their performance and their risk management (Haes and Grembergen 33).
In making decisions about IT governance, three main questions arise: what decisions are to be made? Who will make these decisions? How will these decisions be made, evaluated and monitored? There are six archetypes in IT governance: business monarchy, IT monarchy, feudal, federal, IT duopoly and anarchy. In the business monarchy the people who have decision or input rights are the top executives of the organization, the IT monarchy archetype has IT executives as the decision makers, the feudal archetype gives the input rights to the business unit leaders. The federal archetype has C-level executives and business groups as the decision makers who have input rights (Addy 11). IT duopoly archetype gives input rights to the IT executives and other groups as well and lastly the anarchy archetype gives input rights or decision making responsibilities to each individual user.
The most effective way of reviewing our IT decision making would be by using an IT business value program which measures the benefits of IT operations in a business.
Addy, Rob. Effective IT Service Management: To ITIL and Beyond! Boston: Springer, 2010.
Ross, Jeanne and Peter Weill. IT Governance. Washington: Harvard Business Press, 2004.
McGaughey, Gary and Srinivas Adusumilli. IT Strategy & Governance Explained. New York:
Haes, Steven and Wim Van Grembergen. Enterprise Governance of Information Technology.
Springer: Boston, 2010.