There is a lot that goes into the IT procurement process. Once you have assessed your need for new technology, you need to source the right tools and do what is required to acquire your chosen product.
Most companies face these challenges in IT procurement processes. Finding a solution that provides the best ROI for multiple stakeholders can be difficult.
Conflicting ideas, expertise, and experience can lead to debates about the best solution for your company, slowing down the procurement process.
Following some IT procurement best practices can help make this process smoother. In this article, we’ll explore five best practices in IT procurement to help you improve your procurement strategy.
The 5 IT Procurement Best Practices
1. Get your IT Department Involved Early
Misunderstandings are one of the leading causes of bottlenecks in the IT procurement cycle. An executive leader may write an RFP for their chosen solution only to discover that it doesn’t align with IT’s requirements.
People who don’t work directly with your IT infrastructure may not be aware of the characteristics of your system. Therefore, a solution that looks great to them may not be realistically capable of working with your infrastructure.
If your procurement team leaders are not IT professionals, make sure they listen to and understand your IT experts. Ideally, this conversation should happen before the sourcing process begins.
This way, your procurement leaders can rule out unsuitable suppliers before they send out any RFPs.
2. Don’t Limit Yourself to a Single Supplier
Chances are, you already have a supplier in mind for your next IT procurement project. Perhaps, it is a company that you have worked with before or one that has received good reviews from your colleagues.
Resist the urge to choose the first reliable provider you know quickly. One important IT procurement best practice is to allocate a period of time to shop for a few different suppliers and test a few different solutions.
Try creating a list of well-known potential suppliers that can meet your needs. From there, narrow down the best solution out of several candidates. After you select your ideal vendor, hang on to that list.
It is a good idea to have backup solutions in place just in case your chosen solution is failing to meet your needs post-implementation.
Exploring multiple vendors and comparing solutions can also be an excellent way to find discounts. Your primary choice may have affordable prices, but other vendors may offer irresistible deals that will make your procurement process more budget-friendly.
3. Prioritize Business Requirements Over Price
A common mistake in IT procurement is choosing a solution based on its price. Many business owners presume purchasing an affordable solution that the IT department will later customize to fit their needs is more cost-effective.
Ironically, a solution that costs more upon first purchase is a better deal if it already fits your business goals. Prioritizing business requirements over price will lead to a better cost saving in the long term.
Product customization takes a lot of time and energy that your IT department won’t be able to put into other tasks. Additionally, there is always the risk that a new update will overwrite their work.
Customized solutions typically also come with ownership costs that hike up the price. A study showed that 26% of CPOs (Chief Procurement Officers) reported that cost reduction in total ownership costs was a driving factor in choosing an outsourced IT solution.
4. Take a Proactive Approach to Risk Management
One of the most critical IT procurement process best practices is mitigating potential risks. While it may seem obvious to screen potential vendors for present risks, such as fraud or corporate instability, choosing a future-proof solution is essential.
For example, supply chain issues may lead to inconsistent delivery of products and services. A 2022 procurement survey found that 47% of respondents reported supply risks as their number one procurement management concern.
With this in mind, consider your purchased products’ longevity and your service providers’ reliance on suppliers. You are unlikely to find a product that will never need replacing or a service provider that will never need to make a purchase order.
However, choosing solutions with minimal reliance on new supplies decreases the chance you will have to go without them if supply issues arise.
5. Talk to Procurement Professionals
Procurement professionals will know every IT procurement best practice in the book. If this is your first time procuring a new IT solution, a professional can consult you about the best management process.
Even companies that have performed many IT procurements can benefit from professional consultation. An inefficient procurement process can limit a business’s ability to scale their operations.
Manual processes such as spreadsheets, invoicing, and paper-based record-keeping are the usual culprits for procurement process inefficiency.
An IT procurement professional can offer advice on streamlining manual processing tasks. This does not mean you need to automate everything, but it might mean that there are better ways to perform them.
Interested in learning more about IT procurement? Check out these blogs:
Partner With the Leading IT Procurement Specialists
Kearns Technology offers premier IT procurement services with access to some of North America’s top Tier 1 vendors. You can trust our specialists to adhere to all IT procurement best practices and help your team do the same.
Whether you’re looking for a new security, infrastructure, or network solution, our consultants will work with you to find the best match.
Our experts specialize in connecting underserved markets to affordable solutions, so you know you can trust us to help you maximize your return on investment.
Work with a team that leverages the best practices in IT procurement to ensure your business has the solutions it needs to foster growth. Contact us today to start your journey to a successful digital transformation on the right foot.