PURCHASING: Software Purchasing Instructions and FAQ's

Can I start testing or using software, apps, cloud services or online subscriptions without approval?

  • No. All software, apps, cloud services or online subscriptions - whether hosted on a Bemidji State University (BSU) / Northwest Technical College (NTC) server, on a BSU/NTC workstation, or in the cloud - regardless of cost - must be reviewed and approved prior to use. This includes free software or services you want to use or test.

Why do I need to get approval before use?

  • By using any software, service, or subscription, you are accepting a contract on behalf of the State of Minnesota. The contract may contain language that the institution cannot agree to, such as allowing the vendor to sell or provide data collected by the software etc. We also need to ensure that the vendor will protect our data. Data breaches involving personal data and new regulations for reporting breaches make it imperative that we enhance our procedures and exercise great caution to protect our faculty, staff, and students.

What do I do first?

What happens next?

  • Information Technology (IT) will review the request from an IT perspective. They will consider items such as:

    • How do you intend to use the software, service, or subscription?

    • Do we already have a software, service, or subscription that will meet your needs?

    • What data will be collected by the software?

    • Will the vendor have access to our systems or data and if so, what is the classification of that data?

    • If the software will be hosted locally or requires integration with existing systems, can IT meet the desired time line for implementation?

    • What is the best way to license this software?

    • Does this software request need to be sent to Risk Assessment for an in-depth security review?

  • Business Services will also review the request. They will consider items such as:

    • Will this purchase require multiple bids, or will it need to be published as an RFP?

    • Can this purchase be placed on a p-card or should it be placed in Marketplace?

    • Does this purchase need to be sent to the System Office for full legal review?

How will I know when I can proceed?

  • Staff from IT and the Business Office will reach out to you with any questions they have and will provide you further instructions on when and how to proceed.

How often do I have to have my purchases reviewed?

  • You need to have the software, service or subscription reviewed each time it comes up for renewal. The related documents or the way you use the software, service or subscription may have changed. Software that is paid for and/or renewed through automatic payments should be reviewed on an annual basis. You should not agree to a software license, service agreement, subscription, etc. with automatic renewals. Do not sign any vendor agreements. Agreements must be signed by Sherry Lawdermilt, CIO or Karen Snorek, VP for Finance and Administration.

If you have any questions not covered by the Instructions or this knowledge base article, please submit your questions using our General Help Service Request or call us at the main Help Desk line 218-755-3777


Article ID: 7486
Mon 7/18/22 12:12 PM
Tue 7/19/22 8:27 AM