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Why the Great Resignation needn’t impact your IT procurement capabilities


Initially identified as a trend in the US in late 2020, the ‘Great Resignation’ has since spread far and wide, with employees all over the globe re-assessing their post-Pandemic career paths. Whether they are moving jobs to minimize their commute, to improve their work-life balance, to boost their renumeration, to accelerate their career progression, or simply to try something new, more people than ever are considering a move.


Attrition extends to procurement teams

The 2021 Gartner Procurement Talent Survey highlights how the Great Resignation is impacting procurement teams in particular.  

The survey found that the majority (70 percent) of procurement teams feel under pressure to deliver greater results than in previous years, even though more than half (52 percent) of procurement leaders state that their departments are operating at a reduced headcount. It is perhaps of little surprise therefore that 24 percent of procurement and supply chain professionals said they were seeking a new position, with those under the age of 40 posing the greatest flight risk.


The hidden costs of replacing procurement professionals

The costs of replacing departing procurement personnel extends far beyond job ads and recruitment agency fees.

When an experienced member of the team leaves – especially if they purchase and contract highly complex services such as software and cloud-based solutions – there is a real danger of that business-critical knowledge will be lost with them. This becomes even more critical when the departing employee has led the negotiation of an Enterprise Licensing Agreement (ELA) with a mega vendor.

These deals can be long, tough and arduous to secure; the project lead will have accrued a vast quantity of knowledge about what vendor buttons to press in order to derive maximum value for their organization. This type of information isn’t typically stored in corporate files; it often only lives in people’s heads.

Their replacement will have to invest considerable time to get up-to-speed on the scope of the ELA and how the deal was structured. Yet with procurement teams under-resourced and short-staffed, time is a luxury few can afford. When the next renewal date comes around, the organization could find itself ill-prepared and ultimately in a position of relative weakness.


Vendors hit by churn too

Both sides of the negotiating table are being impacted by the Great Resignation. Software vendors and cloud service providers are also witnessing high levels of staff turnover. Rather than automatically working in the client organization’s favor, bear in mind that this can make vendor relationships harder to forge and manage, again impacting contract outcomes.


Mitigating the effects of attrition

One way of ensuring continuity even during times of unprecedented workforce churn, is to make use of specialist practitioners who are expert at negotiating ELAs in order to secure the best possible terms.

In addition to providing vital intelligence and actionable advice during the negotiation process, external consultants can undertake all the necessary preparatory work, ensure the organization’s Bill of Materials (BoM) accurately reflects the organization’s current and future software and cloud requirements. On average, Livingstone Group clients see cost savings of 38 percent by enlisting our experts to right-size their BoMs and oversee their subsequent renewals and negotiations.

Our team doesn’t simply plug the growing skills gap, it provides organizations with access to expertise that is proven to deliver considerable commercial value, time and time again.

Livingstone Group are recognized as Leaders in the "2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Software Asset Management Managed Services" .  We help organizations to mitigate risk, optimize their Cloud and software estates, and strike the best possible commercial terms during negotiations with vendors, please visit our service pages to find out more.

You may also like to read our "Best Practice Procurement" eGuide or download the Gartner Infographic "When to use a SAM Managed Service Provider"


About the Author

Kate Hawgood, Head of Marketing

I am currently the Head of Marketing at Livingstone Group and have over 17 years’ experience in technology Sales and Marketing roles spanning global markets.

I have extensive Business Development experience having managed and trained teams to bridge the gap between Sales and Marketing.  I have successfully defined and and delivered marketing content and campaign strategies for multiple tech start-ups and supported Sales and Business Development teams to maximize opportunities through delivering relevant and timely content.  I have a high level of expertise in CRM implementation and Management particularly HubSpot.

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