One of the biggest challenges our public sector customers face is knowing how to effectively and efficiently procure the solutions that they know will benefit them in the future. Conducting legal and open procurements are an essential part of working in the modern public sector IT department. The challenging part comes in ensuring the procurement process itself becomes a seamlessly integrated component of your IT buying strategy and doesn’t become a barrier to your digital transformation initiatives.
IT departments haven’t always seen eye-to-eye with their colleagues in procurement. Historically, it wasn’t uncommon for procurement teams to be seen as “the bad guys” that were responsible for limiting the scope of a progressive IT agenda. For many organizations, we’re happy to say this is a thing of the past.
Silos have been broken down and modern businesses have aligned their digital transformation goals with broader business objectives. The result is a more collaborative organization with the emphasis on mutual benefit rather than a box ticking or form completion exercise. A closer working relationship between operations and procurement can lead to a streamlining of processes, greater auditability of spend and more accurate recognition of a return on investment in technology.
As a long-standing Crown Commercial Service supplier, we have worked on procurements of all shapes and sizes. Very few procurements are the same. In our experience, the most successful ones are those that work equally well for the buyer and the seller. Early engagement between the service provider, the client IT department and the procurement team is essential. This approach significantly increases the likelihood of the customer procuring the solution that best suits their business needs.
The best procurement frameworks are designed with long term success in mind. If a customer is able to enter into multiple projects with a clear understanding of the products and services they are buying, and the nature of the relationship with the service provider, it goes a long way to ensuring the best long-term outcome for both parties.
How should an IT department go about engaging with procurement in order to ensure success? Having a clear understanding of what you’re trying to buy, and more importantly how you plan to buy it, can help improve engagement with procurement teams. It can also help streamline and simplify the procurement process itself, benefitting the procurement team too.
As part of our commitment to ensuring we improve access to digital transformation for the UK Public Sector, we’ve put together an e-book to guide IT teams through the minefield of procurement.
Get eBook: A public sector guide to IT procurement.