Announcing Our October Hot Topic – IT Procurement

Hot Topic

Our Hot Topic for October is IT Procurement. We are not singularly focusing on procurement of IT to support procurement (eProcurement, sourcing, spend analytics, and so on), rather the whole broader field of buying and using IT equipment, services and solutions.

Now two things strike us immediately. One – that this is a huge area, so we can't possibly cover every angle. And two, that this master category has probably changed more than almost any other in the past ten years. So if we look back to when I was last a CPO, around the turn of the Millennium, major spend categories for my team included IT, professional services, marketing services, FM, Fleet, office supplies and service, print, uniforms, temporary staff, and the like … a typical non-manufacturing range.

All of those have of course changed to some extent but none as much as IT. Our focus then was on huge mainframe computers and the services, maintenance and software to go around them, desktop PCs, Microsoft Office was probably the biggest single software deal and Oracle were the toughest negotiators in town. So, some things don't change!

But the Cloud was what rained on Kings Cross, BYOD was the latest indie band, agile and waterfall were two of the Gladiators on Saturday night TV, hacking was what the NatWest Procurement football team was best at ... you get the picture. Data security was an issue, but nowhere near as critical as it is today, and social media meant going to the cinema.

The whole IT industry has gone through what can only be described as transformational change. Key suppliers today did not even exist in 2000, whilst other major players then have gone into reverse or even gone altogether. The whole nature of what is bought has changed dramatically, and hence the challenge for buyers of IT then has been simply to keep up with this pace of development. In fact, it needs more than simply keeping up - IT is also perhaps even more of a competitive

advantage now than ever before. How do we find the best often young and small firms that could provide that to our organisations? (This is not another plug for SpendLead, but that platform could be one of the answers to that question!)

So stay tuned as we cover some of these topics at least. We'll also be looking at the forthcoming ProcureCon IT conference in November, and hope to be giving a preview of what some of the key speakers will be talking about.

And as always, if you have something interesting and/or useful to say, we welcome guest articles on the topic - at any time, but  particularly this month.

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