A seasoned procurement consultant has outlined how procurement practitioners can help tech department colleagues to improve IT category management.
Jason Burkhart, who has 20 years’ experience in enhancing strategic sourcing, supplier relationship management, infrastructure optimisation, and cost reduction, believes that procurement pros can improve IT category management in three main areas:
IT Procurement will always be more effective if working with IT at the leadership level, with CIOs and Directors.
But, to achieve this, they may need to persuade a CFO first: access to IT leadership will enable procurement to gain visibility into new, and potentially costly, projects as they arise and develop, which in turn will allow them to get involved in project and budget planning.
They can also draw on their huge reserves of strategic sourcing and market research knowledge to identify optimal suppliers. This will be especially crucial for IT solutions considered critical to the business.
Improved contract management
Procurement pros can bring extensive knowledge of outcome-based KPIs and other measurements designed to improve contracts with suppliers, including linking app deployment, system enhancements and the contracts associated with them to business requirements.
This will allow clear monitoring of supplier performance and service delivery.
With their diplomatic supplier relationship management skills, procurement can also collaborate with suppliers to update their rate cards and use an ‘obligation tracker’ tool to record and update supplier performance against the contract.
New trends expected to impact IT Procurement in the future include the Internet of Things (IoT), Mobility, Digital Twinning, and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) – which means that procurement needs to anticipate these developments and the challenges they pose now.
CIOs, for instance, are already struggling with the problem of eliminating ‘Shadow IT’ – tech used in the business but not owned by IT – as suppliers here tend to go directly to business stakeholders with the result that IT applications get fragmented. Procurement can help IT conquer this vital loophole.