The Future of Procurement Technology

Research has shown that leading companies today employ extensive use of procurement technology for purposes of driving high performance. Procurement masters do this in the following ways:

  • Provide heavy support to their source-to-pay process via a complete suite of integrated technology modules.
  • Achieve “one version of the truth” through the harmonization of master data across systems and consistent maintenance procedures.
  • Have access to highly visible data so as to enable full reporting.
  • Boast a full portfolio of supplier integration technology.

Today’s procurement masters therefore enjoy significant payoffs, delivering 2.5 times more value for every dollar spent in procurement, in comparison to average performers. But what lies ahead with regards to procurement technology benefits of the future? Take a look.

Innovative Technology

With the economy still in recovery, business focus has shifted to technology that is easy to deploy and which delivers a quick and tangible ROI. Granted, technology today typically focuses on the manufacturing element of the enterprise, which is where the money is made. Nevertheless, procurement remains at the heart of every organization; therefore innovation in technology can help boost procurement engagement ultimately leading to a reduction in costs and increase in savings.

Increased Connectivity

Procurement managers of the future will increasingly need to adapt to the convergence of work and play. Consumer-style expectations will persist in their migration into the workplace with access via the traditional PC/ browser-based platforms being superseded by apps. Procurement technology applications will shift their focus to engagement and usability so as to drive efficient processes and fantastic compliance. Additionally, as with the internet, technology is set to become even more connected over time.

Intelligent, Multi-Dimensional Data

Business procurement is set to resemble consumer procurement platforms such as eBay and Amazon. This will be achieved through technology that is more intelligent and which utilizes multiple dimensions of data to steer spending behavior towards the most attractive deals. In this way, procurement managers will be able to make purchasing decisions that are quick and better informed.

An efficient and integrated technology foundation is critical for achieving such results for the business of the future. This will also require thought leadership in procurement and sourcing, specialized skills for SAP procurement and global client experience to assist an organization in the maintenance of a reliable, high quality supply base while reducing costs. It is such a foundation that will provide your business with a procurement technology framework that will power high performance for years to come.

What Is the Role of Information Technology?

Strictly speaking, Information Technology (IT) has been influencing society for thousands of years. Smoke signals, the abacus, writing, paper, pens and the printing press were all once considered the forefront of IT because those technologies were the latest and greatest in communication.

But today it is widely accepted that the forefront of IT lies in digital communications. As with all historical Information Technology developments, digital communication technology is revolutionary in terms of society, business, defence and culture.

But what is it about digital communications that sets it apart from all other previous technological advances? What is the role that this technology can play in modern society?

Firstly, IT acts as a facilitator. It is a medium that permits large volumes of information to be stored, processed or transferred at lightning speed. This means that there is more information at hand to make decisions, maintain relationships, monitor markets or follow movements.

The power of this notion should not be underestimated, it allows people to make decisions based on masses of up to date information. The military, educational institutions and large business have long understood the power of this notion but it has only been in the last ten years that mainstream society has also embraced the power of information for both social movements and small business.

Secondly, Information Technology is an enabler. Only a select minority of specialized companies in the world can claim that IT is their business. Most corporations and institutions use Information Technology to enable functions that drive their core business. This may include better communication between staff, suppliers or customers or it may include better asset management. Whatever the function, digital communication makes the storage, processing or transfer of information more efficient than ever before. But it is important to note that in essence it does not change core businesses, ideals, ethics or movements. It just enables them to function at a greater scale much more efficiently.

Lastly, Information Technology assumes the role of custodian. As data and information is amassed on just about any subject you care to imagine, massive stores of data are emerging ready to service any new requests. And therein lies the security paradox that modern Information Technology presents. One can argue that more available information makes our lives more efficient, safer and richer. Whilst the other argument is that the very same information that provides these benefits is also our achilles heal due to the security implications of unauthorized infiltration.

There is little doubt that the role of information technology is directed and constrained by the very technology that defines it. Today, that technology allows us to collect, manipulate and communicate masses of information. As a consequence, the role of IT revolves around improving the efficiency, capacity, speed or accuracy of any elements that can benefit from the functions that modern Information Technology systems provide.

Information Technology Training Programs

The dependability on computers has only grown as technology as provided a way for almost everyone to own one. This is seen in the way that colleges, businesses, government agencies, and more have integrated the use of computers into their daily function. Students can learn how to work with all aspects of computer usage by entering information technology training programs.

Training programs are designed to teach students how a computer processes and how to maintain all the information used by one. This may seem like a basic undertaking but the work done includes working with all areas of information technology. Students can expect to learn how to design hardware, design software, secure a network, build an Internet application, and much more. The broad range of responsibilities makes earning an education the prime way to successfully enter a career. Before stepping into a specific career a few key steps have to be taken by students to ensure they have the needed knowledge to work effectively.

The first major step before work can start is for students to complete undergraduate degree programs. Both the associate’s and bachelor’s degree level of education are focused on providing students with a fundamental and foundational education in computer science and communications networks. Excluding general education requirements students work through many industry related courses that center on:

  • computer interfaces
  • web design techniques
  • information systems
  • business applications
  • operating systems
  • programming languages

The overall industry focus teaches students to apply, develop, and maintain technologies related to computer information by working to create user-friendly interfaces. The knowledge gained trains students to assist computer users, solve problems, and evaluate technological requirements of a business or individual. A troubleshooting course introduces students to hardware and software management. The process of diagnosing, following procedure, and producing a solution is covered through hands on experience. These courses help students step into advanced study or a career.

Working to complete a graduate degree is step two especially for students that want to enter a specialized area within information technology. Areas can include training in network support, software design, information security, and computer programming. Many of these specializations can be taken as a concentration in an undergraduate degree but to learn advanced techniques and procedures students should continue education into a graduate degree. Many programs focus on applying information technology to global business applications that work together to support the financial and organizational part of a business. A graduate degree in information technology covers a number of specialties that teach students how to work as organization leaders in regards to global economics and international business. Curriculum covers these areas by providing in depth explanation of dynamic programming, parallel computation, data compression, and nonlinear programming. The knowledge gained prepares students to work as researchers, technology specialists, and professors.

The ability to work with computers on a technological level presents numerous opportunities for trained students. Working to find and complete programs from accredited information technology schools and colleges can make the desire to enter a career a real possibility. The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges ( http://www.accsc.org/ ) can fully accredit programs that offer quality training programs to students. Students should start education now and begin training in information technology.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at PETAP.org.

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