7 key considerations for sourcing your next IT project
IT Lifecycle Management 9-Point Series: Blog #2
IT Lifecycle Management From Procure-to-Pay
In this nine-part series our experts will share insights on game-changing technology lifecycle management practices for IT, operations, and finance to set your business up for success.
- IT Planning
- Technology Architecture Design
- Vendor Scorecard
- RFP Management
- Online Shopping Experience
- Price/Product Benchmarking
- Quote Management
- Service Order Workflow
- Contract Negotiations/Review
- Aggregated Buying Power
- Contract Approval Workflow
- Document Center
- Order Workflow
- Project Management
- Carrier Management
- Testing & Deployment
- Carrier Service Inventory
- Hardware Management
- Customized Technical Attributes
- Inventory Reconciliation
SERVICE & SUPPORT
- Help Desk / Tech Support / NOC
- Moves / Adds / Changes / Disconnects
- Vendor Management & Trouble Shooting
- Managed Network Services (MNS)
- Centralized and Normalized
- Consolidated Billing
- Invoice Workflow
- Bill Pay
- Invoice Audit & Dispute
- GL Coding
- AP Posting File
- Cost Allocation
- Budget Management
- Report Library
- Trend Analysis
- Dashboard / Metrics
We’ve all had problems with stability and scale … and costs. The vision is in place, and the current state is understood. The “simple” next stage should be: “Let’s source the next step.” It should be this simple, but it never seems to work that way. The world buys almost everything from Amazon with “one-Click Ordering,” customer reviews are easy to find, and it’s easy to compare prices from various vendors, YET none of this actually happens in the IT world.
Sourcing should flow naturally from your efforts at Solution Design. Existing assets should be understood, the vision clearly articulated, and your resulting Sourcing efforts should naturally flow. If this doesn’t happen, opportunities for disconnects between vision and reality can quickly multiply. This disconnect should be prevented by all of the tools delivered to consumers today, but at a scale that makes it Enterprise-ready.
Many enterprises today approach the beginning of the IT Lifecycle from a fragmented perspective. Terms like “Design, Build, Run” or “Discovery, RFP, Implement” are used, and set the foundation for less-than-optimal outcomes. A recent McKinsey & Company study found that:
17 percent of large IT projects go so badly that they can threaten the very existence of the company.
On average, large IT projects run 45 percent over budget and 7 percent behind schedule, while delivering 56 percent less value than predicted.
vCom believes these results can be significantly improved by creating ownership of the entire IT Lifecycle. Handoffs between “Design” and “Build” or between a Discovery Consultant and an RFP Consultancy Group can contribute to misalignment and missed goals.
The IT Lifecycle should be just that–a complete Lifecycle. The front end of that Lifecycle should be a smooth transition from Discovery to Design to Sourcing. The best Enterprise-level Sourcing experience today delivers on the goals of speed, transparency, relevance and objective ratings … all aligned with the vision created in the previous Solution Design stage of the IT Lifecycle.
A vital aspect of every successful plan is in the inclusion of a Trusted Advisor–and the two key words in this phrase are a and Trusted: a single source that can be Trusted to protect and evaluate based upon your organization’s best interests. That source should have tools, processes and people that provide the greatest opportunity for success and, more importantly, limit the chances of failure. Those tools and teams should contemplate and support your entire Lifecycle, including the end Analytics to test your assumptions going into projects.
Considering an IT project? Looking for a partner to help? Consider these next steps:
Find two to five potential partners whose expertise matches your project.
Check reference on these prospective partners (both provided references, as well as personal networks).
Initial impressions count: if a prospective partner’s front-end engagement does not go smoothly, don’t trust them for their Lifecycle experience.
Manage potential providers throughout the evaluation process
Clearly understand what tools and processes are in place to facilitate clear communication.
Meet the Team, the entire Team you will be working with
And, finally, talk to existing customers that have executed on projects that are similar to the one(s) you are kicking off.
Post your comments or questions for Bob below to dive further into sourcing.
Author: Bob Barnes
VP, Collaboration & Cloud Software
Bob Barnes leads vCom’s Collaboration Spend business unit. He oversees the collaboration sales and operations teams, managing the entire collaboration lifecycle and ensuring a successful customer engagement. He also oversees vCom’s sales operations organization, managing the first step of the customer onboarding process and ensuring our telecom engineering and professional services are seamlessly implemented for our customers. LinkedIn