There are numerous “gameplays” to reduce risks when selecting and hiring a technology vendor. Whether you are able to accept a risk and to what extent are not always clear. With each mitigating factor you incorporate into your contracting playbook, prepare to incur additional costs whether directly to your team or to the organization as a whole. And just like in chess, know that your opening move to an IT deal can be your most powerful.

Here are six grandmaster contracting moves to up your game when vetting a prospective IT vendor.

1. Know Their Queen