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- January 08, 2015
- Darayush Mistry
It’s that time of year again – prediction time. Prompted by these questions from Procurement Leaders, Darayush Mistry, vice president of product development for Coupa, peers into the future of procurement technology for the coming year.
Q. How do you think the expectations of customers will change in terms of what they’re looking for from procurement technology solutions in 2015?
Customers will look to take a more holistic approach to procurement with tightly integrated spend management solutions that make the function more strategic. Expectations for greater transparency and control will rise as customers become more sophisticated in the use of analytics for predictive and proactive spend control.
2014 was the year where BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) became a widely accepted IT policy for most organizations. As new apps emerge and mobile work becomes commonplace, especially for distributed organizations, customers will want procurement to be more mobile as well, and expectations from the consumer mobile world will start driving procurement processes.
Finally, we will see continued movement away from the paid supplier network model as perception of the value of these networks diminishes. Customers will expect to transact freely with all their suppliers.
Q. What shifts do you expect to see in terms of the capabilities on offer in these solutions and how that influences the products?
2015 will be a key year for vendors to move towards the consumerization of procurement solutions. This will lead to creation of product with more just-in-time and real time visibility and control capabilities to monitor and manage spend at the time when it’s happening.
Vendors will also seek to provide process enhancements that extend across procurement and other spend-related functional areas so that customers can truly maximize savings potential.
We’ll also see rapid innovation to support open and free supplier collaboration that solves primarily for small and medium suppliers.
Q. Where do you think the big changes will be in terms of the businesses in this procurement technology space?
The business will grow increasingly intolerant of siloed processes that inhibit visibility and slow things down, and we’ll see a stronger focus on developing more holistic spend management processes that span across procurement and other spend management functions.
Collaboration is becoming increasingly important in any number of industries and disciplines, and the next generation of technology will support real-time collaboration, rather than just sharing of static information. In procurement, this technology will be most applicable to collaboration between buyers and suppliers.
Q. What wider trends in consumer and B2B technology do you think will have a greater influence on procurement technology in 2015?
As organizations start to realize value from Big Data initiatives undertaken in the past few years, there will be more of an appetite for procurement technology to enable data-driven decision making. Cloud vendors in particular will look to gain insight from the massive amounts of data they collect through their platforms both to make their solutions better and to help customers improve their processes through benchmarks.
Use cases for the Internet of Things (IoT) will start mushrooming over the procurement landscape as customers connect the dots between IoT and what they've been driving for procurement.
As B2B mobility becomes ubiquitous, we’ll see demand for location-based mobile services for procurement and inventory start to rise.
Darayush Mistry is vice president, product management for Coupa Software. This article previously appeared in Procurement Leaders Magazine.