Joanne Spencer

Senior Director, Gartner Research

Question 1: What are the biggest challenges facing vendor management leaders?

We continue to see shifting trends from both a technology and business strategy perspective that are driven by changes in the vendor landscape. How to manage this ever-evolving vendor portfolio adds complexity for vendor performance, risk and relationship management. Vendor management continues to be treated as an event-driven activity, with little investment and a continuous struggle to find the right resources with the right competencies for VM roles. ITVM leaders must continue to develop new competencies and best practices in VM to support these changes and trends.

Proving the value that vendor management brings to the organization continues to be a focus area, with many vendor management leaders struggling to identify the right metrics and examples that evidence the value they bring to the table. Creating Unique value propositions and understanding key stakeholder relationships give VM leaders an opportunity to prove and evidence more of the intangible value above cost savings.

Question 2: What is new this year?

Gartner’s new ITScore for vendor management maturity assessment has been completely rewritten and relaunched in 2019. The assessment provides a set of questions about how you conduct vendor management and enables VM leaders to assess the maturity of their vendor management capability.

The new model allows for more depth and detail in our assessment and also gives you the opportunity to only assess certain areas and not take the whole assessment. The methodology includes assessing the importance of activities based on your priorities which provides insight into your current maturity compared with what is important to you and your strategic initiatives. 

Question 3: What is the one take-away an attendee should walk away with from your track? 

That vendor management is a complete discipline rather than event-driven. The best practices and disciplined approach to risk, relationship and  performance management introduced in this year’s track will help to manage an ever-changing vendor portfolio.