As technology is leveraged in almost every function of an enterprise, managing IT spend can be challenging for procurement organizations. However, when procurement and IT have a healthy alignment, teamwork can deliver innovation and act as a ‘change agent’ across the enterprise.
Do your IT and Procurement teams have a healthy alignment? Use these 6 indicators of a healthy partnership to find out.
1. REGULAR EXERCISE
How often is your team invited to attend IT meetings? During staff meetings numerous topics and projects are discussed. Team members cover project lists, current priorities and timeline expectations. In addition, they are kept abreast of what is coming down the pipeline so they can address their team wellness. When Procurement participates in these meetings a healthy emphasis on education and collaboration is promoted.
2. HEARING TEST
Listening to IT discuss how their success is measured and talk about what each team needs in order to achieve desired outcomes, are key aspects to a well-balanced relationship.
If you have heard what IT needs to meet their goals, then you can better understand where your support can add value - a crucial element in supplier selection and category expenditure options.
3. CONTRACT HEALTH CHART
In the technology world there are often a higher volume of agreements and committed relationships. Frequently, these agreements are on different timelines, meaning, they don’t all renew at the same time or contractually for the same length of time. By sharing a clearly defined contract calendar you will have an opportunity to understand timelines and can work together with a strategic goal in mind, versus a last-minute negotiation or disruption.
4. HIGH-RISK FACTORS
Along with understanding IT and procurement’s measures of success, understanding IT’s threshold for risk will be integral to any healthy strategy.
IT is generally responsible for any sensitive information that if handled insecurely could result in severe issues. This is why IT can be less concerned on cost and more concerned with security.
If procurement’s focus on saving money runs against fulfilling IT’s risk mitigation concerns then the solution is not going to be seen as viable. This is mutual, if the resolution speaks to core needs for IT but does not speak to procurement’s then it won’t be a balanced solution.
5. IMPROVED DIAGNOSTICS
Understanding what is addressable versus transactional is another health checkpoint. If procurement can define what IT considers core and what they want to handle, as opposed to what they are comfortable with a supplier partner handling, then your team has a good barometer on high-impact opportunities.
IT will have systems and hardware they prefer to manage and those they would rather a supplier partner manages. Procurement should regularly take IT’s temperature on these areas to identify new areas for sourcing and savings.
6. REGULAR CHECK-UPS
No one indicator is given more weight, overall all of these guidelines will help you gauge your current level of wellness and identify areas where you can make improvements. Maintaining a stronger focus with short-term in mind will result in both teams defaulting back to unhealthy habits. This process is ever flowing needing continuous improvement and regular examinations.
THE DOCTOR IS IN
How healthy is your relationship? Are you feeling good about your overall wellness or could your relationship benefit from a check-up?
Employing an expert to aid in analyzing your joint efforts can satisfy both parties’ initiatives. CU partner, Source One, can conduct a health examination providing an opportunity assessment and recommend customizable programs to suit both parties’ needs.
Learn more about how our program can help increase your health rating and provide more opportunities for IT and procurement to strategically align in the future.
Ben Hatch: Category Manager, IT/Telecom at Corporate United
Ben Hatch is responsible for Category Management within the IT/Telecom vertical at Corporate United. In this role, he serves as the category manager for Multi-function Devices, Conferencing, IT Hardware Support, and Telecom Consulting. He works cross-functionally with stakeholders and suppliers to provide program support, provides ongoing support to Corporate United supplier relationships and ensures value is provided within the category to members and suppliers alike.