A variety of IT procurement scenarios are possible, some of which are described below:
- The IT procurement is of low value, easy to define and supported by several supplier alternatives. In this situation, the procurement approach is similar to buying a commodity and can be fast-tracked using eVA Quick Quotes or an Invitation for Bid in accordance with VITA's procurement guidelines.
- The IT procurement is of low value, but is hard to define or seems to have only one supplier. In this situation, a request for information (RFI) may be made of potential suppliers. An RFI is an informal effort to seek ideas, perspectives, costs and information from potential suppliers so that a formal project scope and set of requirements can be developed. An RFI will also enable agencies to determine the number of suppliers in the market available to provide the needed IT solution. Agencies should also conduct a market analysis to determine what suppliers are available and the prices and/or deals those suppliers have offered to other similar customers.
- The IT procurement is of high value, but is easy to define or is supported by a range of alternatives. In this situation, a structured procurement approach, usually based on a request for proposal (RFP) is recommended. For more information on RFPs, please refer to Chapter 24 - Requests for Proposals and Competitive Negotiations of this manual, Requests for Proposals.
- The IT procurement is of high value, but is hard to define and scope, or the extent of available alternatives is not known. In this situation, it may be advisable to consider an RFI as part of the market research, followed by an RFP.