IT Spend Management in big companies – is cutting that easy?

If you’ve ever worked in IT procurement in a very large organisation, there’s a certain factor you may have observed that used to surprise and annoy me. It was the ‘stickability’ of certain major suppliers. And in particular IT consultants, IT integrators and outsourcing type firms. It seemed that, no matter how hard you worked to reduce overall spend with them, they would pop up elsewhere in the organisation, doing something slightly different!

There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that of course, but frustrating at times if we were in the middle of an IT cost reduction programme.  A similar observation applied to budgets; we’ve probably all seen consulting budgets slashed, only to see very similar looking spend suddenly classified as ‘contractors’, ‘training’ or the ubiquitous ‘miscellaneous’.

Consultants are taught to infiltrate all areas of a corporation and sow seeds such that they can continue to generate new business from that corporation even when the original consulting contract(s) has been completed. And when times are hard, consultants work even harder at embedding themselves into any on-going revenue stream.

So how do you stop them? Simply demand that they report regularly on what they are working on and what they are bidding for. That way, you can get visibility of their work and stop some of the more frivolous activities at source

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