Generally, an RFI is used when reliable knowledge is needed regarding the availability of unique IT suppliers, solutions, services or products and little is known about them in the general market or IT industry. There are certain specific instances where the use of an RFI can be helpful:
- When an agency lacks in-house expertise or resources qualified to determine what type of solution may achieve its IT project's business goals and/or what types of solutions are available in the marketplace.
- When supplier responses to an RFI will assist an agency in developing future IFB or RFP requirements. Suppliers may propose multiple solutions in response to an RFI inquiry and need not be limited to proposing one solution. Each solution proposed may be an option for consideration and may help an agency shape their requirements.
- When suppliers can educate an agency on available options that will help mitigate risks and/or reduce overall technical needs.