Computer and information technology plays a dominant role in virtually every aspect of the world's economy. Individual businesses, regardless of size, have found having a computer system is now critical to their survival. Once implemented, that system becomes management's vehicle for filing, retrieving, manipulating and distributing the information necessary for daily business operations (hence the term "management information system"). Throughout this book management information systems of all types will be referred to as a "System".

Effective System procurement demands detailed planning and requirements definition, comprehensive due diligence (which includes evaluation of vendor proposals and System offerings) transaction structures, contract negotiation and management of the implementation process. An organized and structured approach to System procurement will ensure that the System supports your business requirements, accommodates future growth and is sold and supported by a reliable organization