The most common reasons that prevents IT to reach full potential – 8th: Vendor dependency
- 1st reason – Do you know your process?
- 2nd reason – Too manual process!
- 3rd reason – Decentralize IT
- 4th reason – IT Silos
- 5th reason – Analysis Paralysis
- 6th reason – Building single purpose machine
- 7th reason – What about RCA?
Vendors and vendor management are essential for any successful IT shop. As an IT shop you need vendors to supply compute, storage and networking as well as professional services that you don’t want your group to maintain. Any IT shop has strategic Vendors, and you dependently want to invest time and effort in your relationship with strategic vendors. While strategic vendors are valuable for your success, monolithic vendors won’t help you to be successful over time.
If you have one vendor, albeit a strategic vendor, that has 90% of your IT contracts; what you really have is a monolithic vendor. The same result is also applicable if one vendor has 90% of the contracts (hardware, software or consultancy) of a particular IT domain.
While I know there are benefits to having monolithic vendors, I believe there are more disadvantages that push you to a Modus operandi that disables the set up an IT practice that can handle today’s and tomorrow’s challenges.
What happens if your monolithic supplier:
- Loses their seniority as a technical leader and you need to replace them with another vendor in two weeks who better fits the needs and requirements of your customers.
- Can’t meet the increasing pace of demands & requests you are getting from your customers.
- Decides to change their cost model, leaving you with no alternative but to increase your budget.
- Runs out of business (regretfully we have too many such examples).
- Disagrees with you and starts to be detrimental to your needs.
I believe that it would be a good investment to have at least two vendors in each IT domain. Yes, it takes more time and effort to develop strategic relationships with more than one vendor, but this investment enables you to become a much more agile and nimble IT shop.