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The Procurement Advantage — Making It Happen

12 Jun 2015 by William Freed

Regardless of organization size, failure to take control of the IT procurement process can have negative results. Nonstandard vendors, devices, platforms and technology can sprout up across an organization like weeds, meaning every department has the potential to create time and money headaches for IT.

Cost is a leading issue. Purchasing nonstandard devices and software from multiple vendors creates a situation in which your organization can lose control of pricing, frequently overpaying for basic items. In addition, rogue or departmental technology initiatives that rely on nonstandard platforms drive up support costs because IT may not be trained or equipped to support such solutions.

Other issues, such as software license management, come into play and create additional time and costs for overburdened IT teams. All of these factors emphasize the growing need for companywide standards, compliance and a procurement-based approach to IT purchasing for greater operational success.

Optimized purchasing

The first step is greater control around costs. Because it does an effective job of tracking spending and aggregating demand, procurement ensures that even the smallest IT purchase is based on the best price negotiated with key vendors.

In addition, a procurement approach ensures that departments and employees can purchase only specified products, software and configurations. That way, new products brought into the organization will more effectively blend into the overall IT program and strategy set by the CIO and executive team, while staying on budget.

With standards enforced, the IT team doesn’t have to spend its own time or rely on outside consultants when random or one-off initiatives need support. Procurement frees up IT to focus on mission-critical work and core competencies.

Forming a strategy

When developing an IT procurement strategy, look for a partner that can offer advice from both technology and business perspectives. In addition to efficiently providing a full range of hardware and software — from mobile devices to fully populated server racks — the procurement partner should help create solutions for unique business problems and processes.

Look for Web-based tools that enable employee self-service, providing employees and departments the technology they need while preserving control of purchasing approvals via workflow and flexible permissions.

Optimized purchasing programs also incorporate management portals and reporting tools, as well as robust solutions for software license management, ensuring compliance and consistency across the organization.

Procurement delivers true business benefits to organizations around the world. One organization that’s embracing procurement is NASA, which has implemented a $20 billion program called Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP).

SEWP is a contract vehicle for hardware, software and related services. It leverages a procurement approach, working with vendors such as Insight to save money and streamline operations while delivering leading-edge IT solutions.

To learn more about procurement services that get the right technology to the right people, on time and on budget, visit www.insight.com/us/en/online-services.html.