For More Savings, Turn Your Sights on IT

Every organization has it’s sacred cows, be it legal, marketing, or IT. And every head of the sacred cow organization says that Procurement couldn’t possibly help it save money because of the nature of the relationships it needs to maintain and the need for highly specialized, expensive skills. And while this is true to some extent, any automated discovery program that does X, Y, and Z may do the trick; printing is not a highly skilled and specialized operation; and most hardware is commodity these days, so Procurement does have a role to play in reducing cost in each of these organizations.

And now that many software systems are becoming commodity and the cloud is making IT a utility, Procurement has an increasingly important role to play, especially for “Factory IT”. As per this recet McKinsey Quarterly article, which is well worth the read, on reshaping IT management for turbulent times, IT can be broken down into “Factory IT” and “Enabling IT”. “Factory IT”, which composes the bulk of an organization’s IT activities, is amenable to standardization, simplication, scale, and outsourcing to increase efficiency and reduce cost — and a perfect category for Procurement to help IT identify significant cost savings. While “Enabling IT”, that helps organizations respond more effectively to changing business needs and gain a competitive advantage through innovation and growth, may need expensive resources with rare skill sets or custom built systems, Factory IT can often be bought like a commodity.

So don’t overlook IT. It’s ripe with cost savings.