How To Best Navigate The It/procurement Relationship -


How To Best Navigate The It/procurement Relationship

By Joseph B. Kappernick

The IT department claims they are the only ones that can navigate the purchases of complex systems- which lets face it, is anything that has to do with IT. Due to the needed technical know-how for understanding the purchase and the elaborate sales channels and terms and conditions, IT wants ownership of the entire process- from vendor selection, negotiation, to implementation, and renewals.

It is also common knowledge that these IT purchases come along side a hefty price tag. So it is no stretch to the imagination why procurement would want to be the ones overseeing the purchasing process of these big ticket items. Procurement views the purchasing process from a different view point, their priorities are to manage expenses and reduce risk. The way they see it, IT has a very lackadaisical approach to purchasing that comes across as undisciplined, with lack of structure, and organization. This is not endured by the procurement department, as it reflects poorly on their abilities.

Despite CXO's best efforts, many have not been able to alleviate these combative conditions. Unfortunately, as IT purchases grow more decentralized and complex, it is inevitable that tensions are only going to rise. This is why we have to strive to resolve this conflict.

No one department is more right than the other. They both play a vital purpose in this processes, we just need to define expectations and set regulations.

Jon Winsett, CEO of NPI, discussed this very issue in an article "Understanding the Friction Between IT and Procurement" May 2013. He states that placing a sourcing executive directly into the IT department can help facilitate a bridge between the two departments. The executive can learn about the intricacies of IT vendor and contract management all the while teaching the IT department procurement's best practices.

The bottom line? We all have to learn to get along. The right hand needs the left hand. IT needs procurement just like procurement needs IT. This is the only way that cost and risk will be managed and minimized.

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1 comment:

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