ITEM Buyer’s Checklist

Investing in an IT expense management (ITEM) solution? ZK Research outlines 10+ must-have features and capabilities to consider when evaluating software and services.

ITEM Buyer’s Guide Checklist


Integration & Reach

Solutions should work with a vast list of providers in order to manage a breadth of IT expenses.

TIP: Solutions should work with a vast list of providers in order to manage a breadth of IT expenses.


Inventory Build

Inquire about implementation times, automated data capture, and services to reduce manual work.

TIP: “Simple self-onboarding processes” can be code for “the client does all the work.”


Invoice Management

Automation accelerates ingestion, approvals, analysis, and reconciliation to identify billing errors.
TIP: Ask your provider how they process invoices and many they process monthly.


Contract Management

Stay ahead of procurement cycles with renewal notifications and service consumption reports.

TIP: Ask your provider if they maintain (and share) market pricing intelligence.


Cost Governance

Monitoring prevents and protects from cost overruns with spending thresholds and proactive alerts.
TIP: Look for custom reporting capabilities that support governance, budgeting, forecasting.


Contract Optimization

Uncover savings with a baseline of your current costs, comparing them to market-leading prices.
TIP: Full-service capabilities also offer RFP assistance and contract negotiation support.


Usage Optimization

Compile usage data, evaluate effective service utilization, and get recommendations to reduce waste.
TIP: Advanced tools use AI for this and can help you act on suggestions automatically.


Technology ROI

Chargeback and cost allocations are critical for ROI analysis and holding others responsible for IT costs.
TIP: Integration with your corporate financial system smooths this process.


Asset Management

Hands-on management services offload the work of administering IT assets, services, and costs.
TIP: Ask for help managing your SaaS licenses, mobile devices, and telecom orders.



Enable data observability, analytics, automation, and auto-generated recommendations for savings.
TIP: AI should be able to generate savings tips as well as act on its own recommendations.


Managed Services

Providers help with audits, inventories, insights, reports, and capitalizing on money-saving opportunities.
TIP: Ask for support when you switch providers, refresh devices, and upgrade technologies.

Tangoe is a preferred ITEM provider because they release companies from the tight grip of digital dependency, helping them address IT waste to make way for more innovation.

– Zeus Kerravala, Founder and Principal Analyst, ZK Research

Buyer’s Guide:

Struggling with IT Expense Management? Here’s What You Need to Consider