You’ve carried out a strategic ICT Audit and Review. It’s identified a need for new technology, or you’ve discovered how rationalising the operational delivery of your ICT would bring efficiencies across your Trust. Now, it's time to procure and you need to ensure you get best value for money. But how? Is your organisation set up to run an effective ICT Procurement?
Many Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) and school leaders say they find it difficult to buy and choose ICT and we can understand why. The process for buying ICT systems and services can be complex, and the implications of getting it wrong can be huge. You need to be able to describe technically what you want to buy; have the market knowledge to know where to buy it from; and ensure you comply with procurement law and procedures. Many schools and Trusts don’t have the skills and capacity for such a task.
Six practical steps for effective ICT procurement
When we run ICT Procurement projects for our clients, we always follow these same six steps to guarantee the results they need:
- Plan the process
- Carry out soft market engagement
- Write the specification and service level agreements
- Write the invitation to tender
- Manage the tender process
- Select a preferred bidder and reach contract agreement.
For more details download our procurement guide
When should you bring in an external consultancy to run your ICT Procurement?
As advisers to UK Education, we’ve assisted hundreds of school leaders over the years to achieve efficiencies, as well as best value for money, by helping to steer them strategically through the ICT procurement process. This process has usually been triggered when a specific ICT requirement is recognised. Common scenarios include:
- Your ICT needs a major refresh project to bring systems up to standard as they’re not performing for you. This is likely to be a significant investment so must adhere to procurement law and, you want to ensure you spend wisely.
- You want to do something innovative. You want to see a step change in how you’re using your ICT. You need to procure new solutions but be confident they’ll do the right job.
- You want to outsource the operational delivery of your ICT to bring efficiencies across your trust and be sure you’re bringing in the right operational ICT partner.
- The remote and cloud-based systems you implemented at the start of the current crisis have been evaluated, now, to ensure your MAT and schools are getting the best value, you want to review how these are supplied.
Keep it strategic
Sometimes it can be hard to determine what you actually need to buy. In this case, the key to maximising ICT budgets is to approach ICT purchases strategically, in line with your ICT vision and strategic aims. This way you can be sure you’re buying the most cost-effective, fit for purpose ICT to support both your short and long-term goals.
Read our case study where we worked with Ormiston Acadamies Trust (OAT) to deliver a Trust-wide strategic procurement for essential IT services while taking advantage of economies of scale by leveraging their buying power through collaborative purchasing.
Some of Novatia’s most notable ICT Procurement results for clients include:
- £500k savings over three years for a large MAT through centralised procurement of broadband, telephony and e-safety
- £300k reduction for a London Borough/Local Authority through ICT contract negotiation
- £1m saved in operating costs for a MAT through strategic procurement of an ICT managed service
- £2.6m savings for a large MAT through outsourcing the ICT department to a full managed service.
In our experience, the running of a robust procurement process will save money for your schools and result in better quality services and systems for your money.
Get in touch
As ICT experts in UK Education, Novatia can provide a FREE CONSULTATION to discuss your requirements. From here, you can decide how much you want us to be involved. Our wide range of support include: bid strategy and documentation, functional/technical/service specification, procurement management, contract management and installation oversight.
If you would like further help and would like to speak us directly, get in touch either by phone on 01962 832632 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be happy to help.