January 17, 2012, 9:02 PM — It's becoming more obvious by the day: Many companies' laptop and desktop fleets are quickly becoming outdated, a consequence of their decision to hold off on PC refreshes in order to conserve cash during the 2009 recession. Looking ahead, many companies see 2011 and 2012 as investment years, part of broader efforts to update their old equipment and enable a new generation of technology-savvy workers.
Yet far too many sourcing and vendor management (SVM) professionals expect to simply dust off their old refresh RFP and still access both business innovation and substantial PC savings. This approach will be insufficient for several reasons: Not only must RFPs be updated to account for changes in the way PCs are used, but many market changes could also end up marginalizing the sourcing professional's role. For example, changing from corporate-liable to individual-liable device programs can empower your employees, but it can be done without the involvement of sourcing pros. With the commoditization of PCs driving prices lower, your next refresh cycle could even be eliminated if your company plans to introduce an individual-liable program that shifts the purchase responsibility to the employees.
Bottom line: New trends in desk-side computing beckon a change to traditional sourcing practices. With the growing popularity of bring- your-own-device (BYOD) programs and an increased number of smartphones and tablets in the workplace, old RFPs may require a major overhaul and, at a higher level, discussions about the very meaning of mobility, technology and management strategy.
However, this change also represents an opportunity for the strategic SVM professional. To help SVM in efforts to align with business mobility demand and possibly increase the role of SVM in mobile device strategy, Forrester recently compiled the following list of opportunities for SVM professionals planning their next refresh. Not all of them may be the right option for your company, but it should give you some ideas on how to adapt to the changing environment:
1. Drive savings that affect your employees' pockets in an individual-liable environment