IT focuses on technology procurement

The Information Technology and Supply Chain Management teams have partnered to advance the College’s approach to technology procurement, focusing on developing standard procedures for purchasing Windows and Mac desktops and laptops.

The teams chose to start this new initiative with PCs for several important reasons, explained Douglas Miller, executive director of Baylor IT security, governance, risk and compliance.

“First, with 10,000-plus PCs to manage, BCM is well-positioned to negotiate favorable terms with vendors,” Miller said. “Second, the volume of PCs purchased represents a fantastic process efficiency opportunity for the College. And most importantly, PC security represents a significant threat to the College, so ensuring that equipment comes with encrypted disk drives and antivirus software helps IT safeguard the College’s digital interests.”

Personal computer procurement is to be conducted through the Supplier Relationship Marketplace, or SRM, which leads buyers to the preferred vendors where standard laptops and desktops can be purchased through SHI International, a leading provider of technology products, where a special catalog of inventory has been developed for Baylor.

In some cases, non-standard equipment is needed for College technology users. For these cases, an exception process has been established with the aim of continuing to ensure that the purchase is made from an approved vendor and that IT encrypts the system and installs the required software before delivery.

Search “BCM Desktop and Laptop Purchasing” on the IT portal for guidance on purchasing standard equipment and on the exception process.

Benefits of the SRM Marketplace also include reducing the number of vendors with which BCM does business and driving volume to strategic partners, which helps meet compliance with state and federal historically underutilized business requirements. In addition, it provides valuable data and insights on spending patterns, popular items and more.

When discussing procurement of PCs and laptops, cost is always a concern for departments. While there may be less expensive PCs on the market, Miller notes that savings quickly dissolve once IT has encrypted the disk drives and installed enterprise software required to operate the system securely.

Moving forward, the IT and Supply Chain Management teams will pilot a new approach to managing PC procurement with the goal of continuing to improve the process. In the FY20 pilot project, IT/SCM will purchase new PCs in bulk to replace aging equipment in clinical operations. This will give the team an opportunity to work through funding, ordering, receiving, staging, delivery and cost recovery.

Stay tuned for updates. Meanwhile, please direct questions or comments to your IT or Supply Chain partner or to the IT Portal or the Supply Chain Portal.

This effort is supported by Lee Leiber, vice president of information technology and chief information officer, and Julie Nickell, vice president and chief financial officer.