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 fourth post in the series, GEP's Dhananjay Nagalkar shares his views.
Q: How do you think the expectations of customers will change in terms of what they're looking for from technology solutions in 2015?
A: Customers will expect solutions that are intelligent, intuitive, easy to use and enjoyable. There will be an increased demand for consumerised technology.
Another key driver will be mobility. As enterprises shift toward increasingly mobile work styles, customers will expect solutions that allow them to work anytime, anywhere, and from any device.
Q: What shifts do you expect to see in terms of the capabilities on offer in these solutions?â€¨
A: Customers will expect more functionality from the same tool or platform that go beyond specialised solutions. They will want to see their spend data, analyse it, source products, create and manage contracts, process invoices seamlessly and have all the information seamlessly, without shuffling between multiple tools or software.
Q: Where do you think the big changes will be in terms of the businesses in this procurement technology space?
A: Speciality players will continue to consolidate and try to amalgamate their solution into a platform.
Customers will increasingly favour platforms that include comprehensive source-to-pay (S2P) functionality that is native. Ad hoc and bolt-on integrations will face problems as the S2P concept continues to gain ground.
Procurement technology companies will continue to invest in extending their software platforms to cover the entire suite. However, adding a rush toward new functionality without expert sourcing and procurement domain knowledge may deliver suboptimal results.
Q: What wider trends in consumer and B2B technology do you think will have a greater influence on procurement technology in 2015?
A: Cloud-based solutions will move toward prevalence and cloud-native functionality and performance will be key to success. And the mobility will continue to gain momentum in procurement.
Social trends will help bind buyers within a company together. Some companies will leverage the technology to drive supplier-driven innovation, although the sensitive B2B nature will hamper rapid adoption.
Dhananjay is VP technology, GEP.
This interview is an extract of an article that appears in Procurement Leaders Magazine Issue 54.