Gartner Expert

James Smith

Sr Director, Advisory

James Smith is a Senior Director within Gartner's Advisory organization working with IT Leaders around Sourcing Procurement and Vendor Management (SPVM) related issues. Mr. Smith held various positions in industry, covering all aspects of technology procurement and sourcing, while dabbling in marketing, finance and human resource areas as well. Up until July of 2020, James had focused on procurement and licensing issues specific to two megavendors, leading the charge on thought provoking research around cloud technology acquisition and new adaptations those vendors are using to bring new products to market. Now, as an Advisor, he is looking forward to moving back to a strategy and structure discussion of helping Gartner clients get the most out of their departments, their stakeholders, and the specific deals the work so hard to negotiate.

When not pushing for Gartner's end customers to have the best deal or environment, he spends his time deep in the rich Colorado History. He spends time sitting as the Vice President of the Board of Trustees and volunteering at the Colorado Railroad Museum ensuring future generations will be able to see and understand where we came from before the advent of the microprocessor. He is the chairperson of his local government's historic preservation board reviewing all changes requested by citizens to their homes in historic neighborhoods. While not related to history, He also stays close to matters of national security due to his time serving in the US Air Force.

Previous experience

Prior to joining Gartner, Mr. Smith worked in a multitude of procurement capacities at large consumer product goods, financial services, payments processing, telecommunications and most recently software development. He has led, rebuilt and optimized sourcing teams, all while negotiating, pricing and sourcing strategies within those teams. He is no stranger to an RFP, a standard set of terms and conditions, a BPO exercise, or a good old fashioned Purchase Order, or having to provide read outs to executives in the C-suite.

Mr. Smith has a proven track record of savings and mitigating risks in his professional experience. He has achieved over $50M of savings and avoidances during his tenure in industry. He managed the end-to-end process development and negotiations for all forms of IT Products and Services. He has worked as a individual contributor and leading global sourcing teams spread out across Europe and Asia/Pacific to ensure that this process and subsequent policies will be seamless, regardless of region.

Professional background


Lead Sourcing Manager - Data Center Equipment and Enterprise Software

Vantiv Inc.

Sr. Sourcing Manager - Outsourcing and Offshoring

Cincinnati Bell Telephone

Sr. Sourcing Manager - IT

Areas of coverage

Sourcing, Procurement and Vendor Management Leaders

Procurement and Strategic Sourcing Applications

Procurement Function Management (retired)

Negotiating IT Contracts


Master of Business Administration, Miami University (OH) 2007 (Full Tuition Scholarship Awarded)

Bachelor of Science, Management Information Systems/Minor Aerospace Studies, Miami University (OH) 2004 (Full ROTC Scholarship Awarded)

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Top Issues That I Help Clients Address

1Sourcing, procurement and vendor management - building and redesigning misaligned functions

2Transforming technology procurement to support business innovation

3Initiating and managing procurement transformation programs, including agile procurement processes

4Evaluating and negotiating software license agreements and SaaS contracts

5Negotiation planning and strategies focusing on how to tailor the negotiations to be vendor-specific