Preliminary market research will help determine the viability of existing solutions to meet your agency's IT business needs, and establishes a baseline for what to expect of Suppliers' proposed solutions.
Conducting market research also provides your agency with an estimate of the total projected cost of the procurement, allowing your agency to more easily determine whether or not the procurement is considered high risk.
In-depth market research can also forecast potential risks that could occur during the lifecycle of a particular procurement. Understanding the ways industry leaders provide service for the particular solution your agency is procuring helps better understand what your agency should expect of a selected Supplier and the level of service they should be able to provide.
The different phases of market research include:
Surveillance – involves a high level scan of the industry environment (routine review of journal articles, webinars, etc.)
Investigation – using the data gathered during market surveillance to identify potential solutions and monitor industry leaders
Identification – applies knowledge obtained during market surveillance and investigation to scope the procurement to meet your agency's specific IT business needs. Agencies may release a Request for Information (RFI) in order to determine the types of products that are available which will satisfy its requirements. See Chapter 18 for more information on Requests for Information (RFIs)
Market research can also provide your agency with a baseline for establishing performance measures and enforcement provisions. By carefully evaluating what performance targets and remedies have been applied to procurements of a similar size and scope, your agency can leverage the knowledge from the industry during contract negotiations, and hold the Supplier to appropriate standards of performance.