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Simplifying Vendor Management: How to Reduce Vendor Sprawl

Simplifying Vendor Management: How to Reduce Vendor Sprawl

Posted by ASCEND TECHNICAL TEAM on 7/26/20 12:28 PM

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Vendor Management – Road Map for Simplification

As organizations scale, their portfolio of business support applications can expand quickly. Most mid-market executives are familiar with the situation where they are asked to approve an invoice or renewal for a business-critical tool that a team used to innovate or accelerate a new initiative. Common questions arise: “When did we put this in place?” “Don’t we already have two other applications with similar functionality?” “Now that the project is in production, who is going to support it?”

Sound familiar? Simplifying vendor and tool management is a challenge for organizations across all industries and sizes.

We're often asked for advice about how to support outdated or fringe applications. With dozens of clients across multiple industries, we’ve seen a wide portfolio of infrastructure and business-level applications, and can bring an objective point of view on the best way to move forward.

Simpler is Easier, but It Takes Hard Work to Get There

From an efficiency standpoint, fewer applications and a simplified tool portfolio is our goal. Our team can be more effective and knowledgeable about a vetted suite of tools, leading to more timely resolution for clients. We encourage you to consider using a refined suite of tooling for environment monitoring, incident & request management, and reporting.

Supporting Business Objectives

Still, as a high-touch managed services provider, we also work with clients to ensure our services support their business objectives. If there are multiple applications with similar functionality in an environment, we’ll scope out initial support and work to manage the environment as-is. We’ll also work to identify potential selection or consolidation projects. The objective? Simplifying the IT environment. This process often accelerates an organization's growth and can reduce cost-of-ownership after removing redundant solutions.

Use Case: Cloud Migration

As a basic use case, let’s suppose you're considering a move to the cloud. Cloud platforms such as AWS and Azure allow for rapid innovation and can grow quickly alongside your business.

If you are managing a project like this one, you’ll need to evaluate and answer potentially difficult questions:
  • How are the go-forward cloud costs evaluated?
  • What tools are used for migrations?
  • What are licensing considerations?
  • Post-move, how do you ensure your environment is secure? How do you actively manage costs?
  • How do you monitor performance and identify potential issues?
  • Does your environment meet compliance standards for PCI, HIPAA, NIST, etc.?

Search engines will show you hundreds of potential answers to these questions, so how do you identify the right path ahead for your organization? For those focused on driving business value through their technology, finding the right solutions can be overwhelming and have a high impact on future business operations.

Driving Business Value

This is where a managed services partner can add significant value. Having helped multiple organizations navigate this scenario, we have both the expertise to help provide answers and an established toolset in place to take you from discovery and planning, to ongoing business growth. We understand what has worked for others in similar situations and can get you to a steady state both quickly and efficiently. Simplifying vendor management is one way we help get you there. 

Finally, as we expand our selective suite of solution partners, we can simplify management tasks around vendor oversight by consolidating billing. We know that paying just one bill can help reduce the operational burden of supporting your technology environment.

Consolidating Vendor and Tool Management Simplifies Business 

While analyzing our role as a managed services provider, we constantly ask ourselves two questions: “How do we put our clients at the center of what we do to ensure a great experience for them?” and, “How does this make our clients, and us, more effective and efficient?” With those answers acting as our guiding principles, we’ve evolved our support infrastructure to provide a simplified view, in some cases sending them a single bill for both their environment and managed services. That allows them to focus on what matters: growing their business.

If you’re looking for help with simplifying vendor management, reach out. Let's work together to streamline your technology landscape by consolidating applications and freeing up resources to prime your environment for growth.

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Posted in IT Strategy