Technology Buyers Guide

Introduction

Tufts University has made substantial investments in information technology (IT) over the past few years. A significant portion of that investment has been directed towards rebuilding and modernizing our IT infrastructure. Technology Services is committed to the ongoing delivery of improvements to our infrastructure and to working with members of the Tufts community in their efforts to make full use of the technology that Technology Services supports.

Given Tufts' decentralized environment, schools and divisions are also deploying additional technologies to meet local needs. Some technologies involve the networking infrastructure while others operate in a standalone manner. It is vitally important that these local IT acquisitions work well and work in concert with the University's existing and planned IT environment. For example, a problematic local system can have a catastrophic effect on enterprise-wide network performance. In some cases a decision to acquire a specific technology without consulting others may result in an overlap in services, incompatible technologies, or an inefficient use of resources. With the highly competitive environment and challenges facing the University, making the most effective use of available resources is particularly critical. We all recognize that technology purchases need to be well-managed to ensure that investments are made in technologies that will remain viable and satisfy needs.

The questions below are intended to identify things you'll want to consider when contemplating a technology acquisition such as network equipment, software, a business application (including those provided via ASP services) or servers. Not all of the questions will apply to your particular planned acquisition. However, the questions are intended to help with identifying potential risks based on the size of the investment, how many people will be relying on it, and how critical it will become to supporting the ongoing business of Tufts University. Space for your notes is provided to the right of each question.

Further, in some instances, the University may already have resources in place or planned which would satisfy the business problem that your technology purchase is intended to address. If you have any concerns related to the questions provided or want to consult with people who make similar purchases or decisions every day, we have identified Technology Services resources with expertise in specific subject areas. These resources are committed to providing you with assistance with minimizing the cost, maximizing the effectiveness and enhancing integration with existing technology at Tufts. You are invited to contact them with any questions you have regarding a planned IT acquisition.