Increasingly complex contracts and licensing models are making it tough for IT departments to get a fair deal when negotiating with and managing suppliers.

Two UK universities are looking at offering MBAs that cover outsourcing to deal with that very problem and half of’s 12-man CIO Jury IT user panel said the odds are often stacked against them during the procurement and contract negotiation process.

Peter Pedersen, CTO at Blue Square, said: “As the pressures for budget savings and service level improvements continue, I do think it is an issue to manage and maintain the administrative parts of supplier management. This is largely due to reduction of administrative staff in order to maintain operational staff levels at status quo.”

In some cases this has led to the introduction of specialist staff to help the IT department. Victor Kemeny, IT director at William Hill, said: “It is getting more difficult for line managers to negotiate with