In the first of this two-part series, I briefly traced the evolution of IT strategic sourcing requirements, courtesy of a Data Center Dynamics column discussing an IT perspective on the evolution of procurement priorities and requirements. Today, we come to some of the specific requirements that IT sourcing programs have, including the need to focus on the full lifecycle of a supplier engagement to monitor and track savings. These include monitoring metering, charge-backs, and other areas.
In the case of telecom, one approach the article suggests is looking at IT savings and sourcing by making the business aware of “as a service” costs. For telecom and data storage, this could include asking such questions as “What is the price per load per month?” In the telecom spending, it also includes taking a close look at specification management and actual usage (e.g., not paying for the provisioning and access to lines that aren’t being used), not to mentioning monitoring billing closely.
In many ways, IT strategic sourcing has evolved into a category-specific discipline that, just like services procurement, requires category-specific tools to truly get the most from of it (rather than simply putting on a generic strategic sourcing, eProcurement, and e-invoicing layer). And so my number one suggestion for procurement organizations is either to let IT do its own thing in looking for the right set of tools, or take IT procurement in-house in a manner that devolves solution usage and control to specific category owners – and holds them accountable to the right set of KPIs and metrics.