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Office of the Chief Information Officer
Vice President for Information Technology

IT Purchasing

Guidelines for Acquiring Information Systems at MUSC

The process of identifying, evaluating, and selecting an information system must take into consideration a number of business issues and needs prior to the solicitation process – not only for the requesting department, but also for MUSC as a whole. The following processes and approval mechanisms (Stage Gate) should be used as general guidelines to follow when information systems purchases are pursued. These processes DO NOT negate or function in place of existing solicitation and purchasing processes employed by University and/or MUHA purchasing. These guidelines are intended to help clarify those processes further for purchases of IT-related equipment.

What is an IT-related purchase?

Basically, anything relative to “data processing” (i.e. CPUs, peripheral equipment, software hardware, scanners, operating systems, etc.), telecommunications, office systems technologies, and technology services. The Office of the CIO wants to work closely with MUSC departments in evaluating new information technology initiatives in order to achieve the following goals:

  • Prevent duplication of effort or expenditures
  • Review feasible alternatives for addressing needs, including available resources
  • Achieve consistency with standards & guidelines to maximize information and IS integration
  • Assess effect on the information infrastructure, institutional staff, and other MUSC resources
  • Monitor performance and results, sharing lessons learned throughout the enterprise.

The governance structures of the Information Management Council (IMC) and its associated subcommittees are relied upon heavily in the purchasing evaluation process for discussion and approval of purchases. In all cases, the consideration and acquisition of new systems or applications can be significantly facilitated by working closely with the designated OCIO Director for your area:

Academics / Research:Roger Poston
Financial / Administrative:John Dell
Clinical:Dave Northrup

New System Purchase Application Documents: 

Executive Summary Outline

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download MSWord template

Detailed Business Plan Outline

view PDF example

download MSWord template

Financial Analysis

view PDF example

download MSExcel template

MUSC IT Review and Procurement Process

Suggested Purchasing Thresholds and Processes for Proposal Preparations:
Remember: The value of the system includes software, hardware, implementation services, personnel costs, annual software & hardware maintenance fees, among other miscellaneous costs. We generally look at a five-year value of a system.

Under $25,000
Confer with your OCIO Director and present to appropriate governance committee, (such as FAIC, Infrastructure, etc.). Assuming there are no major hurdles identified and funding is available, generally, the purchase or acquisition can proceed.

Between $25,001 and $249,999
Work with the designated OCIO Director in preparing an Executive Summary and financial plan of the business case supporting the acquisition of new technology or systems. This information will then be presented to the appropriate governance committee within the IMC framework and may subsequently be presented to the full IMC for final approval and/or information. University purchases over $50,000 must also have IT Planning approval from the state CIO's office; this can be coordinated through the appropriate OCIO Director.

Greater than $250,000
Any purchase over $250,000 ultimately requires approval from the Board of Trustees. Prior to submitting the item to the Board, however, there needs to be a detailed business plan and financial analysis developed which is presented and reviewed in the IT governance structure. The requestor should work closely with their designated OCIO Director to develop a detailed business plan and determine the necessary approval framework.


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