It’s happened to all of us on different scales. You sit through an hour-long pitch on why the latest version of an enterprise CRM system is the best fit for your company. It can handle 5,000 active users at one time, offers 24×7 live support for your employees, and can translate your information into 15 different languages. And if you sign a three-year contract today, the vendor will throw in their social media listening tool for free.
You’re sold. Except your company only has 100 employees who would be using this system, your business is only open from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m., and you only operate in English and French.
Today’s IT world is inundated with the latest and greatest software, systems, and equipment. But what does your business really need? And what’s the best approach to save your business money, while still obtaining the levels of service and security you need?
Here are the top four ways you can reduce IT procurement costs:
1) Nice to have, or gotta have it?
Sure—round-the-clock, live phone support might seem like a great feature, but do you really need it? Your IT strategy should outline what your company’s business goals are, and your IT procurement plan should complement that strategy.
Dig deep with your IT service provider to separate the requirements from the nice-to-haves.
2) Test the waters.
You almost certainly wouldn’t buy a car without test-driving a few different makes and models, and the same philosophy should be applied to your IT procurement plan.
Most vendors will be more than willing to give you a free trial of their products and services. Didn’t explore everything you needed during the trial period? Don’t be afraid to ask for more time—or even a live demo.
3) If XYZ Company jumped off a cliff, would you?
Just because a big-name brand, or one of your competitors, has a specific software or vendor, doesn’t mean it’s going to be the best fit for your company. Evaluate all the products with the same set of criteria to ensure you’ll end up with what suits your requirements.
4) Sir, your license is expired.
You’re using 15 different pieces of software, contracted through 15 different vendors—and all of the licenses need to be renewed annually. Talk about unnecessary complexity and confusion, not to mention potential costly mistakes should a license run out. Consider working with your IT service provider to strategically build stronger relationships with fewer vendors.
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