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Why procurement organizations need digital platforms — not just apps

10/31/2022 By

The pace of change in business is unprecedented, especially in our strained and inflationary global supply networks. But, if they can be harnessed, those networks also offer untapped potential for innovation. This is especially true of the new breed of procurement leaders who are using new digital tools and services to not just save money, but also to generate sustainable value through supplier innovation and improved ESG capabilities.

Yet, tapping “outside-in” innovation requires speed and agility that is challenging traditional management approaches and IT systems. Those systems have been useful for generic process automation for the average enterprise, but procurement organizations need digital capabilities beyond what any single technology application or suite (whether S2P or broader ERP) can offer. This is because no single application vendor or “Feature 500” list can keep pace with dynamic industry-specific and geography-specific market requirements via a “monolith” developed by one vendor — especially when complex spend category requirements are thrown in.

This shouldn’t be a surprising statement. Large enterprise vendors have been acquiring best-of-breed competitors for decades, but the collective effectiveness of these applications is hampered by the lack of “plug and play” interoperability between them and other “XaaS” cloud services (e.g., data services, integration services, knowledge services) that are critical to actually driving adoption and value with the cross-vendor technology ecosystem. As a result, senior executives are increasingly demanding that core SaaS vendors provide an open ecosystem of integrated capabilities rather than just their core proprietary application monoliths, a few APIs and some bolt-on partner apps.

This Spend Matters PRO brief provides a in-depth examination of how a platform-based approach can serve procurement.

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