OMNIA Partners Blog

The Case for Technology Spend in a Pandemic Economy

Posted by OMNIA Partners on July 29, 2020


Total Read Time: 6 minutes

As businesses move forward with staged reopening strategies there are continued (and new) considerations that are necessary for sustainability in an unstable environment. One critical infrastructure area that is on high-alert is technology 

As companies took necessary actions, businesses of every industry were facing a new type of work. This sudden rush tmove remote work impacted technology needs and requirements, seemingly overnight. This urgent shift resulted in a need to increase internet bandwidth, cloud-based solutions, productivity platforms for collaborationand so on. This disruption put strain on everything from global supply chains to everyday work.  

While some workers have returned to their office or facility setting, many companies are instituting mobile work for some (or all) of their staff through the end of the year. This safety precaution will impact other aspects of the business, namely, for procurement this unforeseen change can result in serious overspending on IT & Telecom solutions. If procurement does not take center stage in technology spend decisions many businesses will find themselves in a contentious financial situation, on top of the economic recession we are currently experiencing 

 

1/3 OF SUITABLE ROLES WILL PERMANENTLY TRANSITION TO WORK FROM HOME, ALMOST TRIPLING PRE-CRISIS LEVEL 

Work from home will remain consistent post coronavirus

( SOURCE: The Hackett Group) 

On the other hand, if procurement is central to decision-making for employing the right technology solutions for their specific business needs, this can result in increased productivity, efficiency, visibility, and adaptability when it is needed need it most  


RELATED CONTENT:

➡️ The GPO Role in Supply Chain Planning During a Crisis

➡️ Four Pro(curement) Tips to Safely Reopen Your Facility

➡️ COVID-19: GPO Resources for Resuming Operations


Operations can be dynamically altered with technology categories that procurement can directly impact 

1. COLLABORATION & AUTOMATION 

Many companies have made the decision to maintain remote working environments. This new normal comes with challenges of its own for those that don’t standardly operate in work from home scenarios. To ensure that productivity does not diminish, resulting in further financial constraints, procurement needs to build collaboration software and programs into their spend management strategy.  

IT Solutions Have Evolved As companies suddenly embarked on work from home scenarios, the process helped collaboration technologies evolve well beyond the video conferencing calls commonly associated with remote work.

- EHSTodayDigital Transformation and the Intersection of People, Public Trust and Profit.

 

Technology capabilities and needs are two-fold though. Many types of work will require the ability to “bring an expert’ into the working environment for visualization, meaning, virtual assessments for informed decisions. While other businesses need tools that allow their teams to work on the same document from numerous locations, video conference, real-time message, and connect on a consistent basis without hindering efficiency. Every type of business will be unique based on the type of work completed, making it vital for every procurement professional to employ a unique mix of technology solutions 

 

When spend is even more stringent than typical and there is added pressure to maintain distance and maximum uptime, a group purchasing organization (GPO) can be a perfect partner to aid in these unique challenges. A GPO can work with IT purchasers on their necessary requirements to help bridge the gap, finding quick solutions, at the right cost to satisfy for new dynamics (no matter how long they persist).  


RELATED COLLABORATION CATEGORY SOLUTIONS:

GPOs help procurement purchase Conferencing at a savings

 

CONFERENCING  Stay connected with the latest communications technologies, including audio, web and video conferencing platforms.
Procurement can leverage a GPO for Unified Communications Category Management

 

UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS Reduce costs and leave maintenance to the experts with an industry-leading, cloud-based communications platform that easily integrates with existing software solutions. 
Buying groups help procurement purchase IT Products & Services at a savings

 

IT PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Keep your organization moving ahead with a comprehensive set of technology products and services, such as hardware, software and services

Voice & Network Services through a GPO will add resiliency and security to IT infrastructure

 

VOICE & NETWORK SERVICES Optimize your network with resiliency, security and speed

Low levels of automation were cited by General & Administrative (G&A) functions as the biggest factor preventing effective crisis response

A GPO can is able to provide relief to automation issues caused by covid-19

( SOURCE: The Hackett Group) 

2. EXTEND THE LIFE OF CURRENT INFRASTRUCTURE 

As we mentioned in a previous post, capital expenditure budgets are tighter than usual given the current economic recession, meaning full ‘rip and replace’ activities are likely out of the question. While preventative maintenance has always represented a vital area in spend management, it should be gaining a higher, more detailed focus.  

 

To counterbalance the limited CAPEX needed to replace assets, procurement can look to extend the life of these essential resources through third party maintenance (TPM). Pandemic disruptions aside, a TPM often represents a smart move for IT purchasers as most original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will simply “upgrade” existing hardware, cutting the useful life. This can cause disruptions to workforce productivity, increasing your costs substantially, in addition to hindering your IT team’s ease of manageability over your IT infrastructure. That is why 45.5% of the world’s data centers use independent hardware support post-warranty. 


RELATED CONTENT:

➡️  Find Meaningful Value with a Third-Party Maintenance Provider

➡️  Move IT: The Case for Moving to Third-Party Maintenance Providers

➡️  IT Hardware Support | Keep your operations running effectively & reduce costs 


3. GPO RESOURCES FOR RESUMING OPERATIONS 

GPO Technology Resources for Resuming OperationsRegardless if your business has already reopened, is reopening in a phased approach, or won't be returning to full capacity until 2021, companies are faced with varying requirements and responsibilities surrounding resuming operations. Those requirements seem to be evolving on an exceedingly quick basis, making it extremely challenging for procurement to know what the "right" solution for their unique needs are, or what category they should be focused on for their spend management. 

 

Working with a GPO partner can alleviate a lot of this challenge. The GPO model is created on flexibility, so when supply chains desperately need to be more agile and adaptable, your GPO partner can help. These characteristics make a compelling case for up-front technology investments that will result in future savings and increased productivity.  

 

No matter what resuming operations looks like for your business, technology will need to be a cornerstone in your approach. Contact your OMNIA Partners account representative to begin customizing your digital solutions to increase your operational agility. 


Have you reviewed the OMNIA Partners COVID-19: Resources for Resuming Operations? We make updates on a consistent basis to address fluctuating needs with the shifting markets.

Topics: Group Purchasing Organization, Procurement, Emergency Situations, Supply Chain, spend management

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