It’s an Exciting New Era for the Art and Science of IT Procurement

By Jon Winsett


November 30, 2021

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In honest terms, how important is IT procurement to the business? If I would have asked enterprise business leaders this question a decade ago, the responses would have fallen somewhere between “important” and “pretty important.” Today, however, the responses reflect a very different business environment. Charged with executing reactive and strategic transformation initiatives, business leaders are finding IT procurement is more than merely important. It’s critical to the overall success of the company.

As a spend category, IT is undergoing its own transformation on two fronts. The first is categorization. IT no longer fits neatly into the direct vs. indirect categorization paradigm. It exhibits all the complexity of indirect spend – low visibility, decentralized, multiple stakeholders and budgets, etc. – with the all the criticality of direct spend (e.g. supply chain). Increasingly, procurement organizations are recognizing this new middle ground.

The second area of transformation is happening within the heart of IT procurement – the professionals that make it happen. As the importance of IT grows, the responsibilities and expectations of IT sourcing professionals are changing, and their current reality reflects that. For many companies, purchase volumes are up. Spend is higher. That means more pressure for procurement teams to accelerate purchasing cycles, right-size purchases for current and future-state requirements, negotiate flexible agreements, and assure competitive pricing.

Is it an exciting time to be in IT procurement? You bet. But the pressure and stakes are high.

New Challenges Call for New Resources, New Alliances

As companies understand the pressure their IT procurement teams are under, they are investing more in IT sourcing proficiency. There is tremendous demand for updated skills training and data-driven actionable purchasing intelligence – or what I like to call the art and science of IT procurement.

One way NPI is responding to this demand is a new alliance with CAUCUS, an association exclusively dedicated to serving the specialized needs of the technology acquisition professional. Together, we are making new resources available to IT procurement professionals so they can be more effective as they support their organization’s digital transformation initiatives.

One of the first outcomes of this alliance will be virtual events to improve sourcing proficiency for some of the most critical areas of IT spend. In Q1 2022, we’ll be focusing on Microsoft and cloud. Details will be announced soon.

As the art and science of IT sourcing converges, and the discipline undergoes an historic shift, NPI is developing new offerings and new alliances in lockstep. We are excited to be an enabler and expediter of the changes necessary to elevate IT sourcing to new heights. We are committed to empowering IT procurement professionals to excel and outperform expectations in new, meaningful ways. As always, we welcome your feedback.