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A well-informed, expert-supported vendor consolidation can save you money and time while keeping your system resilient and secure.

Save Money and Time with a Strategic Vendor Consolidation

As IT offerings have exploded in the current era, giving enterprises nearly endless options in apps and functions, so have the required time and cost devoted to vendor management. Where once there may have been a tight-knit community of usefully arranged vendors, many companies are now facing a massive suburban-style sprawl requiring the work equivalent of driving for miles to negotiate, service invoices, and manage deployment and delivery of hundreds, even thousands of individual IT vendors. What once seemed like a useful curation of apps and functions eventually becomes an unmanageable, resource-consuming waste.

Image of a woman's hand writing in a ledger under a blue overlay with white tech-related graphics. Contraction of IT budgets and staff further complicate the issue on both sides of a vendor agreement: Your reduced staff and budget allow less time to devote to vendor management; vendor reduced staff and budget may mean turnover in contacts and increased communication required to maintain service levels. If you’re lucky enough to still be in a growth phase, rather than a contraction, a too-widely diversified vendor base is likely to grow more difficult to manage over time, as well, particularly if those vendors are reducing staff. As resources tighten across many industries, even while others expand, now is the time for strategic vendor consolidation.

Cost savings is the most obvious advantage of consolidation, with reduced resources devoted to vendor communications, increased capacity for volume discounts, consolidated invoicing, and streamlined delivery and workflows. But in many cases the process of reviewing and consolidating vendors also offers improved function and security. For example, when data, apps, and functions are siloed, redundant point solutions are routinely employed to address security concerns; instead, a DevSecOps approach with decoupled microservices in a truly composable architecture can improve functionality, security, and resiliency, while also eliminating excess vendor management burdens. Monitoring and remediation with a platform like can also offer consolidation while improving functionality and ongoing optimization.

Unfortunately, vendor consolidation can be overwhelming. Your staff is already stretched thin, and now they’re supposed to figure out which vendors are must-keep and which can be eliminated or replaced, which implementation and deployment costs are worth maintaining, and which will further overextend the IT budget? The process itself serves as a barrier to progress. Overcoming all these obstacles requires a clear strategic consolidation plan and deep knowledge of both your current systems and your critical capabilities.

As always, the right answer begins with asking the right questions. In our suburban vendor sprawl, there might be vendor services tucked into a cul-de-sac and mostly forgotten. There might be overlapping vendors at opposite ends of town. Or your vendor list might simply be too big to compile without a clearly defined discovery and assessment.

Next, you need knowledge of the marketplace, and a deep understanding of the vendors you’re currently using. Have they upgraded their functions since you onboarded? Have vendors you adopted become duplicative via new releases? What apps and functions are available now that can help you consolidate? You’ll likely either need to level up your staff or bring in help via professional services to develop a comprehensive picture of current and emerging IT offerings that meet your needs and help you serve your customers more efficiently than your current contracts.

Along with a comparative analysis of vendors, you’ll need to make sure security apparatuses are compatible with your current system and with one another to keep your data and access management secure and compliant with any pertinent regulations. Because security is both essential to your reputation and one of the primary areas where vendor duplication occurs, this analysis should be exhaustive, and may be another step that benefits from outside experts on your team.

Once you have the full map of your vendor landscape, you can begin to make smarter decisions about where to concentrate your IT spend and where to pull back, what to replace and what to maintain. Mapping your new vendor arrangement is a substantial undertaking with exponential long-term benefits if it’s approached strategically with the right expertise. And if you need professional or managed services to support the effort, Cascadeo can help.