Outsourcing a segment of your IT to a technology lifecycle management vendor comes with many advantages. Your vendor will take a proactive approach to managing your IT environment and reduce costs through procurement partnerships. They’ll also handle all the details, such as warranty expirations and subscription renewals, as well as disposal of your retired equipment without incurring extra cost.
You’ll also appreciate the one-stop-shop aspect of technology lifecycle management, with one number to call when a problem occurs, and one invoice to pay each month. Your technology headaches will disappear, but you’ll also enjoy a more cost-effective, efficient environment.
It’s important to keep in mind that choosing the right technology lifecycle management vendor is a crucial decision. Take a look at some of the critical factors you should consider when selecting a vendor:
Determine Your Goals and Strategy: When evaluating vendors, it’s essential to begin by knowing what you hope to accomplish through this strategic business relationship. Do you plan to start at the beginning and build a new technology solution from the ground up? If this is your goal, then you’ll need to look for a technology partner that specializes in evaluation, procurement, and deployment. They should also have a long track record of successfully running existing operations over a new infrastructure.
Other vendors specialize in evaluating an enterprise’s IT infrastructure to determine how it could be optimized through new technology, increased or improved monitoring and enhanced interoperability. If your goal is to leverage your existing legacy systems, identify a technology lifecycle management vendor that has the partnerships and experience to support this plan within your infrastructure. You may have success identifying a vendor that has experience integrating a variety of hardware and equipment, and which will be able to build on your systems using solutions that improve your technology’s lifecycle.
As you consider vendors, ask questions about their philosophies and overall approach to technology lifecycle management. Look for a company that employs methodologies like those you currently use in your enterprise. Outline your goals, making special note of ways in which your organization may be unique. Ask your potential vendors to discuss how they would support you in your goals and how they’ll fit with your company culture.
Consider Partnerships: For a vendor to be a good fit for your organization and effectively manage your technology lifecycle, it’s vital that they have some strategic partnerships. Whether you’re interested in augmenting your existing IT framework or you plan to build from the ground up, you should keep these partnerships at the center of your consideration.
For instance, if you are planning to build around existing infrastructure, you’ll want a vendor that partners with providers of the tools you already use. If you’re taking a greenfield approach to IT, look for a technology lifecycle management vendor that works closely with technology manufacturing companies whose tools you plan to implement.
Evaluate the potential vendor’s experience working with companies similar to yours in size, scope, and IT planning, as well as their credentials related to the tools you’ll be deploying. Look for certifications earned from particular manufacturers and ask them about their experience handling challenges similar to the ones you anticipate with your environment.
Examine Customer Service Requirements: One crucial factor in choosing a technology lifecycle management vendor is evaluating your customer service requirements and how that vendor stacks up. Vendors don’t provide equal levels of service, so make it a priority to identify one that meets your expectations.
If you require managed services as a part of your lifecycle management services, be sure only to consider vendors that offer this. You may prioritize 24-hour support, at least for some period after you begin making changes to your technology stack. Be sure that you’re clearly expressing the customer service requirements you have and gain a clear understanding of what the course of action will be if your expectations are not met. For instance, if the 24-hour helpline is down, will you receive a discount on your invoice?
Determine whether you prefer to work with a dedicated account manager, or if your organization requires a consultant. Because the vendor relationship may be managed in a variety of ways, make sure the vendor you choose supplies the right level of support. Get a clear idea of what interactions will look like between their staff and yours. What kind of team will they provide to you, and what level of expertise will team members have?
Choosing a technology lifecycle management vendor often comes down to style and culture; you often recognize when an IT outsourcing opportunity seems to fit seamlessly with your in-house team. It’s still a good idea to work systematically through these considerations to identify whether a vendor that seems to fit well will also have the partnerships and expertise to support successful lifecycle management.
At PAG, we specialize in our availability to clients and our unique relationships with the industry’s top providers. If you’re contemplating outsourcing your technology lifecycle management, contact us today.