My Experience Managing The SaaS Tech Explosion – A Procurement Perspective

Cory Wheeler

Back to Blog

“This makes so much sense; why didn’t I think of this sooner?”

That was the statement that I mentioned to myself in 2015 after talking with Zylo’s founding team about the concept of building a platform that would allow companies to finally understand how many cloud applications they were using, who was using them, how much they were using them, and how to optimize them.

IT Sourcing is Not Like it Used to be; Every Department Can Buy Software

Early in my Procurement career, I found that IT Sourcing was one of the most straightforward categories to manage. At that time, my primary stakeholder was IT because they purchased all licensing, provisioned the licenses and managed the support for the entire company. Purchase cycles were clear and predictable, and as long as I was strategically connected to IT leadership, then I would be tied to all licensing negotiations and would be able to drive Procurement value.

In 2012, I left a large enterprise Procurement team to build a new Procurement organization for a fast-scaling tech company. What I quickly learned there forever changed my perspective on IT Procurement support.  

What I found was that everyone in the company was buying their own softwareusually without direct support from IT. My previous experience of managing 10 large annual IT license purchases turned into 1,000 employee license purchases across Marketing, Sales, HR, Development, etc. And it was all subscription software. SaaS was exploding in a big way and I didn’t have any tools or consistent stakeholders to be able to help scope out or support the software explosion.

That’s why it hit me back in 2015 when talking with Zylo’s founding team, “This makes too much sense; why didn’t I think of this sooner?” Zylo was created to transform the way Procurement, IT and Business Units discover, manage and optimize the NEW way in which everyone was buying software.

Since 2012, the shift that I experienced at a tech-forward company has grown to affect nearly all companies that buy software. If you’re not building your entire stack in the cloud, then your IT organization likely has a top initiative of creating a path to shift all infrastructure from on-prem to the cloud.

Procurement is the Best Positioned Department to Lead the Organization’s Cloud Strategy

Now that licensing/subscriptions have become decentralized, whose job is it to help drive cloud strategy? The only department that helps manage all purchasing in the organization: Procurement. For too long, solutions utilized by Procurement have been process-focused (P2P) and created to solve Finance (ERP) or IT (SAM) needs, which left Procurement without any tools to strategically work with the business to drive value and become true trusted advisors.

Enter Zylo, the first and only platform that allows Procurement to be at the forefront of cloud intelligence. With Zylo’s cloud intelligence platform, Procurement leaders can now proactively drive strategy, as opposed to reactively manage exceptions and policy violations.  

I couldn’t be more excited to help Zylo push its innovating solution into the market to demonstrate to companies what next-level Procurement strategy tools look like. The road ahead is an exciting one. Let’s go!

Interested in learning more about how to be innovative with cloud software in your organization? Download Zylo’s latest resource, “How The Cloud Shift Can Drive IT Procurement Strategy” for insight on how to be proactive and drive strategy.

Also, check out these blog posts for more resources on SaaS:

The SaaS Landscape Is Changing Procurement Forever. Here’s Why:

“Buyers” Move Over. Why The Subscription Economy Is The Future.

 

About the Author

Cory Wheeler

Cory Wheeler is the VP of Services and Customer Success at Zylo, where he helps tech-forward companies understand, manage and optimize their cloud-based infrastructure via the Zylo platform. Prior to Zylo, Cory spent 15 years in Finance and Procurement, managing categories and sourcing teams at Arthur Andersen, BearingPoint and both Takeda and Astellas Pharmaceuticals. Cory then built the Procurement organization at ExactTarget in 2012, and managed the integration of the new Marketing Cloud Procurement organization into Salesforce.com in 2015. He and his family reside in Indianapolis, IN, where they can be found cheering for the Purdue Boilermakers and Chicago Cubs.