vCom Planning and Procurement The Foundation of Effective IT Lifecycle Management

Planning and Procurement: The Foundation of Effective IT Lifecycle Management

Contributed by Jarred Orr

IT lifecycle management has a lot of moving pieces that all work together to make an effective, well-oiled machine that works in favor of your organization. It ensures that organizations can keep up with technological advances while getting the most value out of their current IT investments. Planning and procurement are what sets the tone for all of this. Without them, it will be hard to have a good handle on all your IT-related costs, risk assessments, acquisitions, contract management, and more.  

According to Verified Market Research, the entire procurement software market size is to be valued at $9.5 billion by 2028 with a CAGR of 7.6%. 

It’s obvious that getting a good handle on planning and procurement is important. Doing this can help the processes mentioned above go from complex operational tasks to more valuable strategies that make a big difference for the rest of your IT lifecycle. There are three main components of IT planning and procurement: Solution Design, Sourcing, and Contract Management. Let’s talk about how each of them will play a pivotal role in your IT lifecycle management.

vCom Planning and Procurement: The Foundation of Effective IT Lifecycle Management

1) Solution Design 

vCom Planning and Procurement: The Foundation of Effective IT Lifecycle Management

For many, the initial stage for planning and procurement is the solution design process. This is where IT professionals conceptualize and plan the architecture of IT solutions tailored to meet the specific needs of their organization. The key to a successful solution design is the alignment with the strategic goals of the business. This helps ensure that the technology is not just applicable for today but scalable for tomorrow. IT managers should focus on designs that allow for easy updates and scalability.  

Remember, your CEO and CFO are looking to reduce costs but also make more money. It’s up to you to ensure the ROI on your design efforts can be proven.  

IT projects like planning and procurement need to demonstrate clear financial benefits. Numbers like predictive analytics and performance metrics can be used to forecast the potential savings and productivity enhancements that the new IT solution could deliver. Demonstrating a strong ROI early in the design process can secure stakeholder support and ensure continued investment in new technologies and updates. 

Action Step: Make sure you have clear design guidelines in place and know who your providers are. This will set you up for success when launching your Request for Proposal (RFP) and identifying your finalists.  

2) Sourcing 

vCom Planning and Procurement: The Foundation of Effective IT Lifecycle Management

When it comes to sourcing, identifying the right marketplace is key. IT managers should find vendors that offer competitive pricing and align with the company’s technical and support requirements. The way to do this effectively is through using designated marketplaces: platforms that pre-vet vendors and offer a range of products tailored to specific IT needs. This is the key to streamlining the procurement process. These marketplaces often provide better terms on pricing and warranties due to their relationships with suppliers and the demand of multiple buyers. 

Effective sourcing must also focus on securing the best pricing models. IT professionals should negotiate terms that accommodate the ebb and flow of technology usage within their organization, like scalable licensing fees or bulk purchasing discounts. 

Understanding the total cost of ownership, which includes things like the purchase price, cost of installation, maintenance, and potential downtime costs, is crucial for making informed buying decisions. 

Action Step: Find a marketplace that best suits your team and then schedule a meeting with your procurement team to establish a negotiation strategy with your vendors. 

vCom Planning and Procurement: The Foundation of Effective IT Lifecycle Management

3) Contract Management 

Contracts play a pivotal role in IT lifecycle management, particularly through the inclusion of managed services. These services, which often include 24/7 support, regular maintenance, and performance analytics, are essential for minimizing downtime and ensuring maximum value from IT assets. A well-defined managed services workflow in the contract ensures that the organization has continuous support without the need to manage every detail in-house, allowing IT staff to focus on more strategic projects and initiatives. 

Contracts need to also address usage rates, which dictate how software and hardware resources are consumed by the organization. Flexible contracts that account for variable usage rates can help manage costs effectively, especially in fast-paced business environments. They allow companies to scale resources up or down based on actual needs, avoiding overprovisioning and needless spending. 

Action Step: Identify the specific managed services your organization requires, such as 24/7 support, regular maintenance, and performance analytics. Then outline the desired outcomes and performance metrics for these services. 


Planning and procurement are truly the foundation of managing the IT lifecycle. The practices discussed here not only support the immediate needs of the IT department but also contribute significantly to the long-term success of the entire organization.  

Try not to overthink it too much. Focus on the outcomes you want to see and outline some basic steps that need to happen to get there. And build from there.  

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