Consumerisation of Corporate Systems – Why Does This Matter for Business?

We’re all used to easy-to-use technology in our daily lives as citizens and consumers, whether it is a downloadable app to tell us about the latest transport issues, or a quick and easy site for buying groceries, books or pretty much anything else we can imagine.

In our corporate business lives however, it has taken some time for the principles of consumer technology to percolate into our procurement processes and technology. So in our new briefing paper, sponsored by Basware (global leaders in providing networked purchase-to-pay solutions, eInvoicing and innovative financing services), we have looked at how B2B commerce is gradually learning from the consumer world, and where this trend is likely to go next. The paper is titled: The Consumerisation of Corporate Systems – Can business procurement technology learn from the consumer world? And it is available now to download, free on registration. Here is a short extract.

The Consumerisation of Corporate Systems -- Can Business Procurement Technology Learn from the Consumer World?

Why is this interesting for the business?

Before we go any further we should ask – exactly why is this important for businesses to consider? We might agree that life is more pleasant if business systems are easy to use, but is there a real business case to be made for considering and implementing software that uses the principles and features of consumer-type technology?

Perhaps the most obvious factor is the need to meet staff expectations. Younger Millennials and post-Millennials coming into the workforce in particular will expect to have effective, easy-to-use systems to support their work. There will undoubtedly be frustration and loss of morale if they are faced with technology that does not meet their standards. If nothing else, procurement functions should be aware that if they provide systems that work against people and don’t meet the expectations of users, they will not be held in high regard by their stakeholders. Colleagues will find their own ways to carry out “maverick buying” if that is easier than fighting with systems.

There is also the question of efficiency; there are benefits to be gained through ensuring that staff are not wasting time on routine purchasing activities and can get what they need to do their jobs quickly and easily. Spending hours trying to locate the right cable for the laptop on the ordering system is not a good use of time. But it is effectiveness as well as efficiency that is important.

If efficiency means “buying things right”, effectiveness means “buying the right things”. So that covers issues such as user compliance - ensuring that the appropriate corporate contracts aroused. It also covers how the user chooses the best solutions to their needs; so making the right and best choices in their procurement decisions. Appropriate technology, taking advantage of some B2Ctechniques, can certainly help in this regard.

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