24 Oct Where to Begin with Your IT Procurement in London
As someone working in technology, you know this is utter nonsense. Whether in the form of outside services, hardware or software, some sort of IT procurement has to happen to ensure IT jobs get done.
A common layman’s misconception is that all IT projects take place in the digital world, which must mean there is no need for supplies or the costs that go along with them.
The process, though, can seem daunting. There are contracts and vendors to be dealt with, as well as the complications that go along with a quickly developing technology sphere. Or if you have a problem that needs fixing and a solution check out our Virtual IT Director service.
How can you make sure that you are getting off on the right foot when it comes to IT procurement? Read on to find out.
IT Procurement: First Things to Consider
Before you get started in your procurement journey, there are two key things you must consider, because the success of your project depends upon them.
The first is Talent. The person in charge of the procurement process for your company.
It is tempting to take this role on yourself. After all, how hard can it be to acquire a few processors and chips and megabytes?
Simply asking that question means you need an expert, we’ll go over the actual “why’s” and “how’s” in just a moment.
The second thing to consider is contracts.
Contracts make the business world go ’round, after all, and the contracts involved with IT procurement are a special animal.
Let’s get started with talent.
Who’s Buying This Stuff?
IT procurement is not as simple as nipping down to the shops and picking up a few keyboards.
There are special considerations and processes that go into the IT buying process.
You could always give this job over to your IT department, but then you run into the problem of your talented IT professional being too busy buying hosting services to do their actual jobs. Not an effective use of time or talents.
Instead, look to hire an individual or team, depending on your company size, that deals solely with IT purchasing.
Your ideal candidates are going to have a few key traits:
The Ability to Read Legalise
This team will spend a large portion of their time negotiating and creating contracts with vendors.
It is vitally important that they have a good mastery of contracts and the regulations that govern them.
This seems obvious. If they are going to be purchasing IT products for your company, they should have a background in purchasing.
This knowledge base will give them the ability to negotiate and get the best deals and quality for your company.
Because of the unique nature of IT purchasing, your team should have a fair amount of knowledge about the tech sphere.
Certainly, you could do this yourself or give it over to your IT department. This is tempting, even, because who knows technology better than the IT department?
In reality, though, it is a better use of everyone’s time and resources to have a dedicated individual or team taking over your IT procurement.
Contracting the Purchase
Like we said before, contracts make the business world go ’round.
Contracting for IT procurement is a bit different, though, than your standard business contract, and there are special things to consider.
Your contract should contain all of the below, some that will be familiar to anyone who deals with contracts, and some not as much.
Keep in mind that all of these things are important, and should not be glossed over for the sake of convenience. This is one of the key reasons that contracting work like this should have a dedicated team within your company.
Who is doing the work?
What work are they doing?
What products are coming in?
This describes what exactly the purpose of the contract is, and what is expected by the buyer.
We get a bit more specific here. Included in this section are all items being procured, function specifications, design specs, and performance specs.
The nitty-gritty here is vital. Whether you are buying hardware or contracting a dedicated server, be as specific as possible to avoid conflict later.
Described here is when work is to be done when products are to be delivered, and at what sorts of intervals.
This section is so important.
Anytime you are procuring tech products or services, a warranty should be included.
Your vendor needs to guarantee their work or product for a certain amount of time and provide steps to resolve an issue should one arise.
Understand the laws that govern these types of contracts in the UK, and make sure they are included in the contract.
When the job is getting done or products are being delivered, which items or tasks are of most importance? Included that here.
Disputes and Dissolutions
All contracts, regardless of type, should have a clause that details how disputes should be solved to avoid litigation by either the seller or buyer.
There should also be a clause in this section about how to dissolve the contract should it become necessary. No matter how good a deal feels like, make sure you have a way out of the contract.
This section details exactly what it says. How payments should be made, to whom, and for how much.
The last consideration in contracts goes right back to the first point. Having a dedicated team for these contracts ensures that expert eyes are looking at your contract.
Your legal department may be a good resource, but unless they have a thorough understanding of tech needs, there are aspects and considerations to the contract that simply won’t occur to them
Having the right talent and the right contracts will ensure that your IT procurement gets started right and that you can rest easy knowing you are making the best deals for the best products and services for your business.