strategic IT

Strategic IT sourcing: 5 essential best practices

From innovative inventory control systems to infrastructure as a service (IaaS) products, today’s businesses are operating at a time when regularly investing in high-level information technology (IT) infrastructures is more important than ever.

An effective IT sourcing strategy encompasses your organisation’s technological investments and the processes used to procure IT services and solutions. Your company’s resources are precious and should not be wasted on programs or hardware that do everything except make you more efficient and productive.

Your business should incorporate the following essential elements and practices to create a more fulfilling IT sourcing strategy.

1. Identify business requirements

Your company’s requirements will dictate the services and solutions you will need to look for. This will help you create a more targeted sourcing strategy as you will only examine the vendors, programs, and tools that are relevant to you and your employees. 

Your strategy should cover:

  • Present technologies
  • Present processes
  • The market
  • Working arrangements, such as hybrid or remote models
  • Resources
  • Current supplier relationships
  • Your customers
  • Company values
  • End goals

Baseless decisions did not create your business, and a lack of foresight cannot determine its ongoing success. Identifying your company’s weaknesses is a crucial skill that can help you create a strategic plan that adds value to your business’s IT infrastructure.

2. Foolproof market research

In business, the market refers to the space your organisation operates within and the audiences you serve. Whether your target demographic is individuals over 30 or small to medium-sized cloud computing businesses, your IT sourcing strategy must be based on up-to-date data and information that reflects the needs and offerings of the market.

Your company’s IT infrastructure should support your daily procedures and help you deliver results to clients and customers. If you can identify your customers’ pain points and the technical solutions available to overcome them, you will be able to purchase the right network devices and programs to enhance organisational efficiency and streamline your staff’s workflow.

3. A well-structured team

Crafting an effective sourcing strategy should not be the sole responsibility of one person. Many factors go into the stages that make up an overall plan, and you should enlist your employees’ knowledge and skills to ensure that your business’s technology strategy is thorough and realistic.

The individual team members can be sourced from:

  • Management
  • The IT department
  • Legal department 
  • Sales and marketing
  • Customer service
  • And more

The purpose of creating a well-rounded team is to leverage the combined experience and expertise of people who represent your organisation as a whole. They should be able to collaborate and communicate effectively to approach your business’s IT needs from various perspectives. 

This can result in cost savings and a sourcing strategy based on relevancy and usability.

4. Detailed selection criteria

Your team’s research will undoubtedly result in a long list of potential programs and vendors who can help your business grow. However, selecting the suppliers and programs best suited for your organisation should not be like throwing a dart at a board. Instead, it should be a screening process resulting in a beneficial partnership.

The selection criterion needs to be as specific as possible and should take into account the following points:

  • Your company’s needs
  • Expectations (from your business, customers, and the other party)
  • Resources
  • Budget
  • Accessibility
  • Vendor and product success stories (backed up with credible data)
  • The ongoing implications of such a partnership or usage

You and your employees put time and effort into what you do, and you need the right tools and services to support your organisation’s model, immediately and in the long term. 

Comprehensive selection criteria can help your company pinpoint the vendor and products that are best suited to your needs, minimising the risk of wasteful spending or applying ineffective solutions to your operating systems.

5. Performance analytics and assessments

A foolproof IT sourcing strategy is a commitment and you need to be able to monitor your business’s new technologies and services to ensure that they live up to your company’s expectations. For example, if you choose to outsource the care of your managing systems to a managed service provider (MSP), it is important to see how your business’s IT infrastructure is faring in the days after the deal has been signed.

Collecting and collating data related to your company’s spending and product usage – be it in the form of surveys for your staff or analytics programs for your overall processes – can provide you with insights into the efficacy of your IT sourcing strategy. 

Both are not one-time actions. Instead, analytics and assessments are continuous processes that pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of your IT investments to bring awareness to new opportunities, or to inform you of what needs improvement.

Build a solid IT sourcing strategy with expert help

IT sourcing strategies are plans that every business should have in their arsenal. They leverage caution and innovative thinking to assess a company’s IT infrastructure and the various ways it can be improved for profitability and enhanced productivity. While planning a strategy can be exciting, without the knowledge or time to do it effectively, it can quickly become a burden.

The IT strategists at Muscatech have the experience and skills to examine your business’s IT infrastructure (including your overall technological business strategy) with a critical eye to develop a strong sourcing plan that adheres to your needs.

Reach out to the team today to upgrade each component of your IT infrastructure for long-term operational success and efficiency.

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