Procurement is a process that deals with activities related to sourcing, negotiation and strategic selection of goods or services that are usually of importance to an organization. As such procuring the right technology is not much different from the traditional way of procuring any goods or services that is needed by organizations. However, technology procurement in these current times is more critical and essential for an organization to leverage on the advancement of available technologies and maintaining its competitive edge. So how do organizations succeed with procuring and implementing the right technology?
Firstly, organizations need to include technology in their strategic planning either in their short-term or long-term planning depending on the organization framework. By doing so all relevant stakeholders from board of directors, managers and staffs are oriented by a central organizing document that would be a focus point for the organization to achieve its goals. The more technology is alleviated to the same level of strategic vision it would be better to make a case for funding the technology procurements and by doing so, technology would be aligned as a core component to reach the organizational goals or mission that is crucial instead of just being a tool of convenience.
Secondly, include staffs managing technology as a part of the work to decide the organizational strategic direction. Most of the time only at the end of the strategic plan would organization include small inputs from staff managing technology. Management must be inclusive in their processes with the staff that are making the technology decisions. This will mean not only they are bought in to the strategic direction but also the strategic direction is informed by the people having to carry out that work in advance.
Next organization must provide ongoing staff training on tools and systems, not just during onboarding or for new staff members. Although its important for the initial setting of the tone for what the tools need to be used and what are the processes but to really train organization staffs to be effective with the technology that already decided on using must be ongoing. There is a lot of strategy on this, for example this could be a standard learning items for all staff during monthly staff meetings. Ultimately this must be a common practice for all organizations to have regular trainings for all staffs to be ongoing learning process to fully utilise available systems or technology.
Further to this organizations must educate staff members on how organizational data’s and systems meet the organizational mission. The piece that often get missing is not just looking at data and see how it can help organizations makes decision but recognising that all the technology systems and data within them is the core on how organizations meet their mission. For example, if organizations are using a system that don’t track a certain piece of data that important or system that does not enable staffs to act in the way that is most relevant to the organization, the system or technology are not actually meeting the organization mission the way its is intended. Hence organizations staff members must be more empowered to change or request certain technologies to meet their common organizational mission.
Finally, to succeed in implementing technology procured by organizations it should be budgeted separately and not be treated as “overheads”. This is not a supply issue like purchasing printer paper or coffee for the office like certain overheads needed to operate, but technology should be budgeted separately so that organizations make strategic intentional decisions around technology to know how organizations are investing it now instead of thinking by paying for less overheads maybe organization could have more budget for new tools, as such technology must not be lumped together as an office supply overhead and be budgeted separately.