Brice Bunner

IT Procurement can benefit from strategic outsourcing


Image ©: Reference for Business

IT procurement is a necessary task for any business these days as nearly every industry uses computers and other electronic devices to perform business tasks. Even if all your business has is a printer and some laptops, finding cost-effective upgrades can be a career in itself. But the real concern when procuring IT assets is actually the rest of the time you own that device—and how you plan to end your use of it.

Lifecycle cost management and IT assets

Believe it or not, the initial cost for upgrading your business’s IT can actually go down the longer you use those devices. Not in the sense of actual dollars—although there is some of that happening with regards to ROI and savings by reuse, but those are topics for another post. When it comes to procurement, however, purchasing devices that are perhaps more expensive because of the value they bring can actually lower your overall IT spend for many years to come.

The reason this happens is because of inherent value. Faster memory and higher processing power out of the gates typically means the computer or electronic device will be able to support your computing needs for several years—even past the recommended upgrade date.

This translates directly into savings because you are postponing future purchases by one or two years at a time. Not only that, but having a nicer device to start will mean when it comes time to finally put it to rest, it will fetch more on the aftermarket.

Reselling as a procurement strategy

Refurbishing and reselling devices that were top-of-the-line to begin with is far easier to do than attempting to resell a second-rate device after two or more generations have since been released. People looking for a deal aren’t cheap, necessarily. They want a good product as much as the rest of us.

By incorporating this concept into your overall procurement plan, you can justify higher-cost purchases for your subsequent IT spending. Since some of those dollars are almost guaranteed to come back in resell revenue at the device’s end-of-life—barring any unforeseen economic shift, of course.

This is a valid and preferable course of action because of two major factors: lifecycle costs and sustainability. Lifecycle costs account for a significant bulk of the overall cost that goes into procuring devices in the first place. That initial ticket, though high, is nothing compared to the actual cost of ownership over time. Why not spend more to extend the life of the device that, the longer it lasts, the less it costs?

Sustainable ITAM and your bottom line

Sustainability used to be a buzz word for businesses. But, as we continued to heat up our planet with rampant over-consumption, the fad has turned to fact. Sustainability is now as important to any business strategy as financing or IT procurement. Not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it facilitates better business in a number of ways.

By the very definition of the term, having your business be more sustainable means your business will last longer on its own resources. So, sustainability brings an expectation of frugality and strategic reuse of resources. When applied to your ITAM program, it can help add value to your procurement plan and improve overall performance of devices across the company.

Another reason sustainability is vital to a company’s outlook is that it builds brand equity. Whether small or large, your business can use all the social equity it can get. This comes in handy when you want to do something more daring as a business, or if you ever get negative press for things gone awry.

Showing that you’ve invested in a sustainable IT plan helps insulate your company from negative reviews and responses. You can see this with major enterprises like Lever or Dell. Their sustainability covers a lot of “sins”. Add to these factors real metrics like ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) or CRA (Community Reinvestment Act), and sustainability starts to look like a business asset worth investing in.

Get a lifeguard for your IT Assets

Extending the life of your assets is certainly going to benefit your business, but not at the expense of doing business. You could easily spend the majority of your days—especially if you’re part of an enterprise business—chasing down devices and making them last longer.

Thankfully, there are vendors and partnerships available to expand the sustainability of your business without overextending your own resources. For instance, when you use Sage to handle the disposition of your devices, you access an online sales portal as well as strategic programs like our Employee Purchase Program and the GoodTogether program. Getting a partner to handle all the details of making your IT assets as sustainable as possible while documenting those steps so you can gain ESG or CRA credits for being a part of it all can save your IT assets from drowning in end-of-life concerns while you can stay focused on everything else.

Regardless if you outsource your ITAM or if you handle IT lifecycle management inhouse, if you are an IT Procurement Director, then you should always look to sustainability as a key strategy for your plan. Even if you are just beginning to add sustainability, the choices you make today can either be a springboard toward multiple benefits or a millstone around the neck of your company. Which would you prefer?

About Sage

Sage Sustainable Electronics leads the market in sustainable IT asset management and disposition (ITAD) by reusing more and recycling less. Every year, businesses retire millions of used-but-still-useful technology products, creating the fastest growing business and consumer waste stream in the world. We strategically and passionately help companies reuse more and recycle less than anyone else in the industry.

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