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Vendor negotiation becoming more challenging for IT pros - report

08 May 2020

The challenges presented to IT professionals are changing as rapidly as the emergence of new tech – especially as the two are intricately connected. 

And according to new data from Ivanti released today, vendor management and contract negotiation are some of the most complex challenges faced today by IT decision-makers.

50% of more than 1,300 of such decision-makers surveyed in the study reported they work with 11 or more different vendors, and nearly half (48%) claim they can spend weeks, or months, renegotiating vendor contracts each year.

Findings from the survey also show that Unified IT – which is most typically defined as the practice of having a unified experience across endpoint management, security and enterprise service management – remains an ambitious goal, not a reality, for most IT organisations. 

Despite being out of reach for many, a majority of respondents rated the benefits of Unified IT as compelling.

The most cited perceived benefits of Unified IT included:
  • Consistent data across systems and IT departments: 70%
  • Improved user experience: 61%
  • Ease of use: 60%
  • Consistent and aligned processes across IT departments: 59%
  • Cost savings: 58%

Unified IT strategies will be adopted by respondents as they demonstrate value in helping IT meet priorities and initiatives, says Ivanti.

Among the initiatives IT organisations report they are trying to balance, the following were top of mind:
  • Improved patching and security: 62%
  • Cutting down time to resolve incidents, patch systems, etc.: 61%
  • Improved IT reporting: 47%
  • Unifying IT: 39%
  • IT governance: 30%

“Conflicting initiatives are competing for IT budgets and complicating visibility and reporting processes. This is making it challenging to achieve IT unification,” says Ivanti vice president of product management Duane Newman.

“Compounding the situation is the time IT organisations spend on vendor and contract management. 

“However, by taking a unified approach to the priorities of security, issue resolution and reporting, IT organisations will likely find that they are better able to achieve their highest priorities without added cost or effort.”

The number of vendors that organisations are concurrently working with seems to be rising, with half of respondents reporting working with more than 11 vendors, while 20% work with between five and seven, and 16% work with between eight and 10.

Predictably, the higher this number, the more time an organisation will spend on negotiating contracts with vendors.

Only 19% of IT professionals spend just a few hours negotiating their vendor contracts. 

This contrasts to the 33% that spend days, 35% that spend weeks and 13% that spend months.

Operations reports are also time consuming for IT professionals. Only 20% spend minutes producing IT operations reports while 52% spend hours, 22% spend days and 6% spend weeks.