SVM Professionals: Get Off The Policy Soapbox And Meet Your New End Users

 

Too often at Forrester, sourcing and vendor management (SVM) professionals tell us things like, “oh, we’d never implement a Bring-Your-Own-PC program. It would increase our risk and reduce our negotiating power with our PC vendor” -- only to find out later that their colleagues in the infrastructure team have in fact already implemented such a program.

The reality of today’s environment is that your end users have wildly different expectations of technology, and of the people who procure it for them. These users are mobile, empowered to make their own technology decisions, impatient to get what they want, and have multiple new technology options like BYOPC and cloud that make consumer-like enterprise purchases possible.  Yet too often, SVM professionals hide behind their corporate sourcing policies rather than try to get ahead of user needs.

You know the risks of denying a trend – users going around SVM with loopholes in the corporate policy to buy what they want, while selecting new vendors that don’t meet your risk criteria. And I know many of you are trying to avoid this fate. You’re already expanding your efforts beyond IT to work more with your marketing teams and spending more time giving guidance to individuals sourcing SaaS contracts rather than trying to take over responsibility for those contracts yourselves.

But even as these issues have been gaining steam for a while, 2011 is the year that the trends accelerate and converge. Why? The recession is mostly behind us and the effort to grow quickly brings out the natural tendencies of end users to focus on speed over risk or total cost.

2011 is the year you need to stop slow-pedaling new models of sourcing emerging technologies and instead put your foot on the gas. Get out there and be more proactive with your stakeholders about social technologies, mobile devices and applications, and:

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