3 Must-Knows on Navigating SLED IT Waters

Rachel Eckertby Rachel Eckert, Senior Analyst

During March’s 3 Must-Knows on Navigating SLED IT Waters Beyond the Beltway event, a panel of CIOs shared countless insights on current and upcoming opportunities in the state, local, and education (SLED) market, but the most interesting takeaway was a short one-liner from Oregon’s Chief Information Officer, Alex Pettit,  “hundreds of people can say ‘no’ in an organization, but only a small number can say yes.” This got me thinking, knowing who has the decision-making powers is just as important as what is being decided.

As technology vendors, once we discover who’s who, our jobs suddenly become a lot easier.  We often use publically available resources to find information on our customer’s priorities and budgets, but discovering who the decision-makers are in SLED and what impacts their decisions is the most important step to thriving in this market.

So, how do IT vendors navigate the confusing waters of SLED IT? Here are three must-knows before you embark on your SLED journey:

  1. Know your customer. Identify the decision-makers and influencers at both the agency and state, county, or city CIO level. Reading strategic plans and budget documents will let you know the agency goals, what they need in order to meet those goals, and how you can help.
  2. Know the culture. An agency’s culture affects its operations. While most agencies are modernizing and consolidating systems, they’re used to the old way of doing things and may be slow to accept change. It’s important to address the cultural issues in an agency before you can successfully implement a technology solution.
  3. Know the budget. Tight government IT budgets make it essential to know exactly how much an agency can invest in a solution and to work within those limits. A solution that fits within the agency’s budget will keep stakeholders from shutting down discussions.

By understanding the process and politics underpinning the agency, state, county, or city IT budgets, you’ll get non-technology-minded stakeholders to understand the importance of making an investment in IT. That, in turn, will help identify who has the power to say “yes,” making it easier to navigate the procurement process. Here’s a link to the full article where you can learn more on the SLED market.

Need help identifying top decision-makers and opportunities within the SLED market that have an immediate need for your solution? Contact immixGroup’s Market Intelligence team today to learn about specific offices and contacts that are most likely to purchase your IT product.

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