How To Involve Procurement In Your IT Strategy


There are many moving parts involved in making digital transformation a reality in every business. The role that procurement departments play shouldn’t be overlooked.

However, while procurement may be able to successfully negotiate contracts, service level agreements, and ensure that the right resources are acquired for the right price; issues arise when they are not fully informed or fail to grasp what’s needed to ensure widespread adoption of any new technology that’s being invested in.

To remedy this, IT departments need to ensure that, when working with new suppliers, their procurement department understand the challenges everyone involved face.

Different Parties, Different Priorities

New suppliers often have problems integrating their services into a client’s day-to-day operations. This is usually because procurement and IT are not on the same page.

Essentially, IT makes the request and procurement delivers it – often without being told or fully understanding what’s needed from an operational or user perspective.

This puts the supplier in a difficult position – they have a contract in place to deliver a specific set of services; but the needs of users are often very different in practice.

For example; if mobile services, unified communications, and collaboration-focused technology solutions are in the contract – but there’s no onboarding provision budgeted for – user adoption will suffer.

The ‘buck’ is then passed on to the team tasked with implementation – typically a third party IT services provider – who is left to troubleshoot ways to ensure systems work and that users understand how to get the most out of them.

Involve Everyone From The Start

Needless to say, a tremendous amount of time, effort, and money can be wasted. But how can it be avoided?

When a tender is put together, IT, operations, key users, and procurement all need to be involved – to make it clear that the investment needed covers the internal hidden costs: the resources, manpower hours, the system, API, and the existing business process adjustments needed.

Right from the start, everyone needs to consider the broader impact on the user and find ways to ensure they can quickly get up to speed with the new system or service.

Consider: a business has a new mobile supplier. Adoption may simply mean users need to swap sim cards in their devices and register online. For an IT pro, this may be a simple exercise, but others may need guidance to get their new data connection working.

In an instance like this, simply referring them to a service desk might be overkill. Plus the company may not even need to spend on a support service like this. A simpler way could be to create a short video guide which shows users what they need to do.

Consider The Total Cost

A good procurement department may save a company millions of Euros; but unless they’re aware of daily operations and understand how to help employees adopt a new service, the savings made can quickly be offset by losses in productivity.

Like many other business units that excel in one particular area, when it comes to IT, procurement departments often don’t know what they don’t know. Therefore it’s crucial that IT departments express the importance of not just what and why they’re purchasing a new service; but what it will take to ensure it’s embedded right across the business.

In many cases, when IT aren’t handling implementation directly, they need to partner with a service and solutions provider that’s experienced in communicating the needs of the entire business to key decision makers in the procurement department.

Not only that, but another key concern is choosing a partner that’s experienced in adoption; who can offer a range of toolkits and materials to ensure that users get the best possible experience – which ultimately makes rollout of any new service, system, or platform easier for everyone. The overall result will be a new service which will add value for the organisation, not only financially, but also with fewer incidents, easier processes, and happier users!

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