IT procurement is the series of activities and procedures in a business for acquiring information technology (IT) hardware, software and services. It involves both strategic and administrative responsibilities and a frequent question of IT leaders in mid-sized businesses is who in the business should handle which parts of the process.
Due to the complexity of making IT purchases, the obvious answer is to keep this within IT and away from the central procurement function. But is this really the right choice when one considers that procurement in general is a fairly well-defined process and requires many other competencies which are not specific to IT at all?
One of our IT Leader Mastermind groups recently tackled this question. Here is a summarised version of the outcomes.
The best answer is not to choose one over the other but to implement the procurement process in such a way that both teams can play to their strengths.
To do this, all IT purchases have to be reviewed with the idea of standardising as much as possible so that central procurement can handle the majority of the process, leaving IT to attend to the exceptions or more complex purchases.
Items such as printer cartridges, mice, keyboards, screens and even standard computer configurations can in many cases (even more so when a little bit of training is added) be outsourced to central procurement.
The remaining purchases are either once-off or require in any case significant IT involvement with quoting, ordering and receiving that it makes complete sense to handle this within IT.
Try and align major purchases with the last quarter of your major IT suppliers. Since they usually have some internal sales targets to achieve, it is often possible to negotiate excellent discounts (in some cases up to 40%!).
DX Sensei, Mastermind Facilitator, Abundance Thinker or CEO, call me what you like, but know this: I am extremely passionate about helping IT leaders from mid-sized businesses discover their true potential and realise just how important they are to helping their employer survive and thrive in our increasingly digital world.
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