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Effectively Acquire Infrastructure Services

Acquiring a service is like buying an experience. Don’t confuse the simplicity of buying hardware with buying an experience.

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  • Alan Zimmerman, Experienced IT Service Delivery Executive
  • Four more anonymous contributors

Your Challenge

  • Most organizations are good at procuring IT products, but few are truly good at acquiring infrastructure services.
  • The lack of expertise in acquiring services is problematic – not only is the acquisition process for services more complex, but it also often has high stakes with large deal sizes, long-term contracts, and high switching costs.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Don’t treat infrastructure service acquisitions lightly. Not only are failure rates high, but the stakes are high as well.
  • Make sure your RFP strategy aligns with your deal value. Large deals, characterized by high monthly spend, high criticality to the organization, and high switching costs, warrant a more thorough and lengthy planning period and RFP process.
  • Word your RFP carefully and do your due diligence when reviewing SLAs. Make sure your RFP will help you understand what the vendor’s standard offerings are and don’t treat your service level agreements like an open negotiation. The vendor’s standard offerings will be your most reliable options.

Impact and Result

  • Follow this blueprint to avoid common pitfalls and navigate the tricky business of acquiring infrastructure services.
  • This blueprint will provide step-by-step guidance from assessing your acquisition goals to transitioning your service. Make sure you do the due diligence required to acquire the best service for your needs.

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should follow the blueprint to effectively acquire infrastructure services, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

1. Develop the procurement strategy and process

Kick off an acquisition by establishing acquisition goals, validating the decision to acquire a service, and structuring an acquisition approach. There are several RFP approaches and strategies – evaluate the options and develop one that aligns with the nature of the acquisition.

2. Assess requirements and build the RFP

A solid RFP is critical to the success of this project. Assess the current and future requirements, examine the characteristics of an effective RFP, and develop an RFP.

3. Manage vendor questions and select the vendor

Manage the activities surrounding vendor questions and score the RFP responses to select the best-fit solution.

4. Manage the contract, transition, and vendor

Perform due diligence in reviewing the SLAs and contract before signing. Plan to transition the service into the environment and manage the vendor on an ongoing basis for a successful partnership.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a ten call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Develop the procurement strategy and process

Call #1 - Scoping call
Call #2 - Establish your acquisition strategy and timeline

Guided Implementation #2 - Assess requirements and build the RFP

Call #1 - Scoping call
Call #2 - Input requirements into the RFP
Call #3 - Complete the RFP

Guided Implementation #3 - Manage vendor questions and select the vendor

Call #1 - Scoping call
Call #2 - Score RFP responses

Guided Implementation #4 - Manage the contract transition and vendor

Call #1 - Scoping call
Call #2 - Review the service level agreements
Call #3 - Manage the transition and vendor relationship

Onsite Workshop

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Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Develop the Procurement Strategy and Process

The Purpose

  • Establish procurement goals and success metrics.
  • Develop a projected acquisition timeline.
  • Establish the RFP approach and strategy.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Defined acquisition approach and timeline.




Establish your acquisition goals.

  • Acquisition goals

Establish your success metrics.

  • Success metrics

Develop a projected acquisition timeline.

  • Acquisition timeline

Establish your RFP process and refine your RFP timeline.

  • RFP strategy and approach

Module 2: Gather Service Requirements

The Purpose

  • Gather requirements for services to build into the RFP.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Gathered requirements.




Assess the current state.

  • Current State Assessment

Evaluate service requirements and targets.

  • Service requirements

Assess the gap and validate the service acquisition.

  • Validation of services being acquired and key processes that may need to change

Define requirements to input into the RFP.

  • Requirements to input into the RFP

Module 3: Develop the RFP

The Purpose

  • Build the RFP.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • RFP development.




Build the RFP requirement section.

  • Service requirements input into the RFP

Develop the rest of the RFP.

  • Completed RFP

Module 4: Review RFP Responses and Select a Vendor (Off-Site)

The Purpose

  • Review RFP responses to select the best solution for the acquisition.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Vendor selected.




Manage vendor questions regarding the RFP.

  • Managed RFP activities

Review RFP responses and shortlist the vendors.

  • Imperceptive scoring of RFP responses and ranking of vendors

Conduct additional due diligence on the vendors.

  • Additional due diligence and further questions for the vendor

Select a vendor.

  • Selected vendor

Member Testimonials

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After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this Blueprint, and what our clients have to say.




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Search Code: 77946
Published: July 6, 2015
Last Revised: November 13, 2015

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