Modern organizations rely on IT to fulfill most of their obligations. Regardless of what type of business you run, you likely use a range of software and hardware to serve your customers. As such, having procedures in place to procure those IT tools becomes critical.
IT procurement tools should aid you in purchasing the services and products that you need. These tools often help you manage service contracts as well, so you can use one platform to manage all IT assets, including both software and hardware.
In this article, we’re going to talk a bit more about what IT procurement is and its role in modern companies. Then we’ll introduce you to two top IT procurement tools that you can use.
What Is IT Procurement
IT procurement covers the activities involved in acquiring new software or hardware for your business. Here are some good examples of IT procurement processes:
- Your company needs to buy new computers, which involves putting in orders through your IT procurement system, requesting quotes or getting estimates, and making those purchases.
- Your team wants to change one of the software suites they use, which involves getting new licenses and cancelling old ones.
- Finding specific vendors for all your IT needs and keeping a database of them.
These processes can become extremely complex as your organization grows. Although you might not need IT procurement tools if you run a small business, they’re almost a requirement for larger organizations.
On top of helping you stay organized, IT procurement tools enable you to keep detailed logs of all the purchase requests that employees make. You can review when you’ve bought hardware, see how long it’s been used before replacing it, monitor software contracts and Service Level Agreements (SLAs), and much more.
Another useful aspect of IT procurement tools is that they help you implement systems to manage requests. Instead of having to submit requests via email or verbally, IT procurement tools provide a central channel through which all requests go through. As such, you can review and approve requests more efficiently.
2 Top IT Procurement Tools
This section will focus on service desk platforms that include IT procurement functionality. That way, you’ll be able to handle internal incident requests armed with all the tools you need, from ticketing to processing IT procurement orders.
1. ManageEngine Service Desk
ManageEngine Service Desk doubles as both a help and service desk platform. It includes features for processing tickets and requests, as well as account and asset management.
IT procurement tools are also featured. Using ManageEngine, you can track all the IT assets in your network and put in orders for new hardware or software, as well as submit replacements for existing equipment.
ManageEngine gives you access to an order management system that enables you to review employee requests and track spending for specific clients. You can review past orders, pricing, and associate every expenditure with a specific account. This gives you the ability to use ManageEngine to put together a comprehensive vendor list.
If you’re comfortable automating purchase orders for your employees, ManageEngine lets you do so. The platform also includes tools to help you set up product catalogs including whitelisted options from vendors you trust. That way, you can standardize the hardware you use in your office, which helps cut down on IT incidents or troubleshoot them more effectively.
Finally, ManageEngine lets you store invoices from IT procurement requests as well as payment details so you can make repeated purchases with less friction.
Price: ManageEngine Service Desk is an enterprise-level tool, and you can contact their sales team directly to get a quote for your organization.
2. SolarWinds Service Desk
SolarWinds® Service Desk is a cloud-based IT service management platform with a broad range of features for IT infrastructure management and procurement. Using Service Desk, you can manage tickets and internal incidents via multiple channels. The platform acts as a hub for service requests with versatile features, such as options to set up comprehensive knowledge bases, assign and route tickets automatically, and more.
Service Desk provides you with the option to set up vendor databases, including information such as contractual terms, software licensing support, and compliance details. Given this, you can store critical SLA information to help ensure vendors meet the terms and conditions you’ve agreed on for IT procurement. This can prove invaluable when it comes to audits and reducing contractual risks.
The platform provides you with the functionality to create purchase protocols, enabling employees to submit orders through customized forms through the service catalog. On the management side of things, you can assign purchase orders to request individual or multiple sign-offs or automate the approval process.
At a glance, you can review information about every IT procurement order your organization makes as well as reference contract terms and limits. All that comes combined with SolarWinds’ service desk platform, which provides you with the tools you need to manage client service requests, as well as keeping employees armed with the tools they need to do their jobs.
Price: SolarWinds Service Desk offers a broad range of plans. However, to get access to the full IT procurement suite of features, we recommend you use the Professional plan, which starts at $69 per month per agent.
IT procurement tools are almost a necessity for large organizations. If you want to find a service desk platform, we recommend that you look for an option that includes IT procurement functionality. As such, you’ll be able to manage and process incident requests more efficiently.
Two of our favorite IT procurement tools that also include service desk features are:
- ManageEngine Service Desk: An enterprise-level service desk solution with comprehensive IT procurement tools.
- SolarWinds Service Desk: This tool adapts to organizations of all sizes and it combines service desk functionality with IT procurement tools.
Note: Pricing is in USD and updated as of January 28, 2021.