The Future of Network Procurement

As an IT procurement professional, you handle the sourcing of complex technology solutions that are key to the future success of the business. And network purchases represent one of the most complex product categories you are responsible for.

Here at Telia Carrier, we understand the challenges that you face. As a global connectivity provider, it’s true to say we live, eat, and breathe network procurement.

Every year, we negotiate and place hundreds of orders with suppliers of just about every type of network infrastructure and service imaginable – in just about every geography around the world. So, we understand the multiple factors that can impact procurement success.

That includes trends on the horizon that are set to add some new dimensions to today’s procurement challenges.

Keeping up with fast evolving complexity

On the front line of sourcing complex solutions for the business needs, engaging with technical leads and IT directors – so they understand the purchasing processes and time frames involved – is set to become even more important.

Grasping the technical ‘ins and outs’ of whether the MTU size of an Ethernet solution has been clearly defined, or if a supplier can deliver a network access point direct to your office located on the 30th floor of a high rise building in Singapore, for example, is just the start.

You’ll also need to have your finger on the pulse of new technology that’s probably not more than five years away.

These upcoming technologies will have significant implications for every aspect of the procurement lifecycle. Impacting everything from how compliance is managed and tracked, to how a Master Service Agreement is negotiated and defined to drive operational success.

Close collaboration with IT leaders will help drive the regular dialogue and insights you will need to become a ‘trusted connectivity partner’ to the business.

Managing risk

Already under immense pressure to manage costs and any potential technical, quality and non-compliance issues that could cause problems down the line, in the future, network buyers will also need to become experts in risk mitigation.

The recent global COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the fragility of today’s global supply chains, and the dangers of just-in-time principles that are designed to keep costs – and on-site inventories – low.

Going forward, network buyers will need to analyze the ability of vendors to meet supply and service demands in the face of major disruptive events – deploying strategic sourcing to ensure localized business continuity criteria are integrated into the supply chain.

Sustainability – the push to become eco-friendly

With sustainable procurement rising up the enterprise agenda, utilizing TCO, life-cycle analysis, and third-party environmental certifications to select products and suppliers is becoming a strategic imperative.

Today’s companies face a rising tide of regulations which require that they monitor, and even report on, the compliance of suppliers.

Plus, shareholders increasingly expect enterprises to deliver on their sustainability goals and balance purpose with profit. In other words, moving beyond ‘checking boxes’ to truly engage with suppliers and enable responsible business practices.

With a growing number of firms now using the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to benchmark their own performance, organizations that want to position themselves as sourcing ethically and sustainability will need deep visibility into their supply chains – especially into tier-1 and tier-2 suppliers.

They will also need to develop impressive due diligence capabilities to demonstrate how supplier selection is not simply based on economic criteria.

Sharing the love

At Telia Carrier, we believe in sharing the learnings and best practices we think are invaluable for optimizing network procurement outcomes.

To discover more, download our Network Buyer’s Guide to a Happier Life for ten recommendations that will give you an edge.

Andy Everest, Chief Procurement Officer and Head of Service Delivery