‘Cloud technology can improve communication between firms’

The value of the global cloud computing market has almost trebled in the past two years, according to research. Largely fuelled by the rapid adoption of solutions such as software-as-a-service, this growth is expected to continue, at least doubling again by 2020.

It’s hardly surprising then that discussion of various cloud technologies is fairly ubiquitous, with a great deal written about both the obstacles and the opportunities that the cloud represents. While there are concerns around the reliability and availability of cloud services, services using the cloud can mean a real boost to guaranteed business continuity and simpler disaster recovery. In addition they are able to improve support for the increasing number of virtual machines, and deploy a range of security solutions such as encryption tools and firewalls.

An organisation’s procurement function, in particular, can enjoy a range of benefits by deploying a cloud solution.

As the internet continues to make the world smaller, an increasingly global approach to business has led to more and more companies around the world buying and selling between each other.

However, the various parties involved in the procurement process will typically use a number of different IT solutions for buying and selling, often within the same business, and each peculiar to its own market and respective regulations.

Miscommunication can easily occur where these solutions and systems aren’t fully connected across different organisations and particularly when faced with a language barrier and regional differences. This, in turn, can lead to inefficiencies and potentially costly mistakes as oversights are made.

Businesses can avoid such mistakes by deploying a cloud-based system which will standardise the process by providing a homogenous service, available to all parties around the clock, allowing them to collaborate more effectively and establish a commonality, regardless of language or locality.

Additionally, a cloud-based procurement solution can represent significant cost savings to a company. Deploying and maintaining such a solution can cost as little as 31 per cent of an in-house system, for example, whereas communication with suppliers can often make up between 40 and 70 per cent of an organisation’s typical procurement costs.

As more organisations move towards cloud-based solutions, it’s worth considering just how this will affect a company’s procurement function. Not only could it improve processes and procedures, it could deliver cost savings and efficiencies to the business, increasing its agility and improving its value in the supply chain.

Pedro Paulo is CEO at Gatewit

(Source: http://www.supplymanagement.com/blog/2015/01/cloud-technology-can-improve-communication-between-firms#sthash.OWmI2h2H.dpuf)