If your company’s Procurement and IT departments still work in silos, it’s time to put a stop and build some bridges.
The Procurement, the IT and the business strategy
Procurement and IT departments have historically worked rather independently, but in today’s competitive world this tactic no longer stands.
The purchasing strategy needs to be aligned with the company strategy to improve the competitive advantage and decrease/manage risks for the business. And because the IT strategy is now an integral part of the business strategy for many companies, Procurement and IT need to join forces in supporting the organisation as a whole.
So how can procurement and IT work together?
Aligning Procurement and IT
You may have different goals, but the time has come to put the differences aside and work towards supporting the business from both sides.
So, sit together and see what areas need to be addressed and prioritised. As a procurement professional, you can align your department with the IT team by:
- defining common goals, metrics and measures for success,
- embedding some of your staff within the IT dept e.g., by attending regular updates with the IT,
- communicating the needs of the IT dept to the potential suppliers you talk to,
- getting feedback from the IT department on chosen suppliers for lessons learnt,
- improving communication, knowledge sharing and common processes.
Let’s now look at a few things that might be important for the IT & tech part of the business when it comes to an ideal technology supplier.
What’s important for your IT department when choosing an IT supplier?
Of course, every case is different and every IT department may have their own list. Having said that, it’s likely that when in need of a new IT services supplier, the Head of IT and their team will appreciate a technology services provider who:
- is proactive and able to provide advice – as opposed to do what they’re told without a question,
- is large enough to give your company scalability – both scaling up and scaling down as needs change,
- has various skills under one roof (e.g., product design, security or AI capabilities, rather than software development only),
- has methods in place to estimate and manage IT projects,
- is compliant and mature in terms of processes lowering risks to your organisation,
- is experienced in your sector and/or has broad experience from various types of projects,
- is able to adjust their ways of working to match your company culture,
- can keep their engineers, thus holding on to the investment made in domain and tech knowledge.
So essentially, this would be a vendor who’s not necessarily the cheapest on the market (which may be a goal of some Procurement teams), but they will definitely represent more value added for your organisation. And the price tag may be higher because they probably:
- adjust their service portfolio as customers’ needs change,
- invest in people to maintain low turnover and keep knowledge inside,
- maintain a buffer/a bench of people available to scale up and down,
- invest in training to ensure people are up-to-date with both technology and soft skills,
- have a good structure to support engineers in their work (e.g., PMO, UX, tech support and premises teams).
How to gain competitive advantage through a technology partner?
So, it’s clear that clients – buyers of technology services – can maximise their competitive advantage through the right choice of technology partner. Long live innovation!
Selecting a tech partner who, apart from coding, is also able to:
- analyse your end users,
- design solid architecture for your software product,
- give it great UI and UX,
- provide support and maintenance for the product, and
- give you consultancy and further ideas for your business
- that is the company you need to work with to stand out from competitors.
The cheapest supplier will not be able to do that. Instead, they will provide a low-quality product with no further business or market insights.
A quality technology services supplier will also be able to give you assurance that their processes, systems and governance structure are mature enough to minimise the risks for your business. In case you need to doublecheck this area, it’s worth sending them a Due Diligence Questionnaire (DDQ).
Technology partner with a human face
Last but not least, in the world filled with isolation where we lose touch with people, we need to work with a tech partner who has a human approach to business – one that puts people (both employees and clients) first. At Future Processing, this human-first approach means strong work ethic, open and transparent communication and a ‘let’s solve the problem together’ approach.
Collaboration between Procurement and IT departments is key
As we see, quality choice in terms of technology partner can make all the difference between the ‘to be’ or ‘not to be’ of your company’s software products or systems. And this can only be achieved when IT and Procurement really work together. So, sit down and talk. To the collaboration!