Gartner Expert

James Smith

Sr Director, Advisory

James Smith is a Senior Director Advisor working with IT Leaders around Sourcing Procurement and Vendor Management (SPVM) related issues. These include:

- Sourcing and negotiation strategies (IT & Indirect Spends)

- Functional design

- Contract Lifecycle Management & Term Reviews

- Roles and responsibilities

- Stakeholder and category management

- Reporting and metrics

- Diversity Equity and Inclusion & Sustainability in sourcing and procurement initiatives

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. Prior to 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 can use decades worth of experience to help redesign, redefine and improve your sourcing organization to ensure an optimal sourcing and procurement organization that enables your stakeholders to maximize their returns while minimizing the risks and expenses.

Previous experience

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 an 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.

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.

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.

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

IT Contracts Negotiations

IT Vendor Ecosystems Management

IT Sourcing, Procurement and Vendor Management Operating Model

IT Sourcing Strategy Development and Execution


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 - designing, building, rebuilding and revamping organizations

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