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In this series of guest posts, Procurement Leaders asks solution providers in the procurement space for their predictions on the shifts in technology that will take place in 2015. In this, the third post in the series, Coupa's Darayush Mistry shares his views.
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?
A: 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.
Last year was when bring your own device (BYOD) became a widely accepted IT policy for most organisations. As new apps emerge and mobile work becomes commonplace, customers will want procurement to be more mobile 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.
Q: Where do you think the big changes will be in terms of the businesses in this procurement technology space?
A: 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 many industries and disciplines, and the next generation of technology will support real-time collaboration, rather than just sharing of static information.
Q: What wider trends in consumer and B2B technology do you think will have an influence on procurement technology in 2015?
A: As organisations start to realise value from ‘big data' initiatives, there will be more of an appetite for procurement technology to enable data-driven decision-making. Cloud vendors 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 also start mushrooming over the procurement landscape as customers connect the dots between IoT and what they've been driving for procurement.
Q: What shifts do you expect to see in terms of the capabilities on offer in these solutions and how that influences the products?
A: This year will be a key year for vendors to move towards the consumerisation 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 in real time.
Vendors will also seek to provide process enhancements that extend across procurement and other spend-related functional areas so that customers can maximise savings potential.
We'll also see rapid innovation to support open and free supplier collaboration, primarily for small and medium suppliers.
Darayush Mistry is VP product marketing for Coupa.
This interview is an extract of an article that appears in Procurement Leaders Magazine Issue 54.