Procurement is changing. As new technologies and best practices emerge, the field of procurement has been abuzz about these changes and how to adapt. But what sets top teams apart from those who trail behind is the ability to use and derive value from the right technology investments. As the gap between procurement team performance widens, the pace of change of emerging technology like SaaS procurement systems, cognitive technologies, AI, and more makes it crucial that procurement teams make time to pay close attention to it.
The good news is that IT procurement teams are uniquely positioned to harness this digital transformation, both across the business and within the procurement function.
New Procurement Technology in the Age of Digital Transformation
New digital opportunities are changing the way buying and selling are done within the organization. To adapt, procurement teams must change the way they secure enterprise IT. Emerging technologies make IT procurement strategy easier, more intuitive, and future-forward in an age that demands more speed and agility. In fact, use of technology is one of the key factors used by benchmarking firms to measure maturity of procurement organizations.
Digital Tech and SaaS Solutions
Digital technologies (particularly SaaS) help procurement teams drive greater simplicity and automation, allowing them to work smarter and more efficiently than ever before. Now, procurement can focus on adding true value back into the business instead of just looking for cost savings. SaaS in the modern business era is a no-brainer, really. It provides:
- A lower per solution cost
- Simpler implementation
- The ability to test before purchasing
- Seamless scalability
It makes sense that the best way to manage your organization’s SaaS footprint would be through a SaaS-based platform too. Purchasing decisions are no longer made by a single entity within the organization. SaaS procurement software helps you have greater visibility into your collective spend, measure the value it provides across the organization, and proactively develop a strategy for managing SaaS going forward.
AI and Cognitive Technologies
Is AI just for robots and high tech platforms? Not at all. It’s making the work of professionals across all sectors more efficient, helping them make smarter, faster decisions. In procurement, it’s primarily being used in spend and contract analytics. But there’s much more still to come. Gartner reports that “The reality of AI is that most organizations won’t create significant value unless they deploy the technology on top of the right platform, data, and processes.” Yet currently, most organizations only manage part of their spend with procurement technology.
Cognitive technologies are a product of the field of AI that refer to solutions that replace human involvement. These technologies are set to disrupt procurement drastically in the next 5-10 years—so much so that a new category of “cognitive procurement” is emerging. A 2017 Deloitte survey of 480 procurement leaders from 36 countries even found that procurement leaders believe the impact of robotics and automation will increase from 50% to 88% by 2020, and up to 93% by 2025.
The Matching Model
At Zylo, our Matching Model is the process that runs against each and every transaction that is imported into the Zylo platform. The model identifies transactions that are for cloud-related providers and then further classifies those transactions for the actual subscription they correspond to. This way, Zylo can immediately deliver value to customers.
The ultimate goal for anyone in procurement is to become a trusted advisor that seeks out value. With new technology applied to basic procurement principles, we can get closer to finding true value than ever before.