Prediction for 2015: Configure to Your Heart’s Content

Forget customization. Configure!

Configuration as part of solution deployment in a SaaS/cloud environment is becoming more commonplace than software-centric, code-level customization (mirroring trends in procurement technology adoption, generally). But configuration is more than just about software and accepting some outside standards as best practice as a starting point.

Mass-customization will finally come to all things procurement in 2015. Procurement organizations will tailor their processes not just to spend categories in sourcing, but to stakeholder needs and to realities of ongoing P2P and supplier management. Procurement solutions (for the most part) are finally beginning to follow suit in category-level solution functionality far beyond category templates (remember those, which helped differentiate e-sourcing solutions not so long-ago?).

Mass-customization is a way of tapping the wisdom of the internal and external procurement crowds. It is about standardization of best process and practice as well as last mile modifications/customizations at the same time. But perhaps most important, it drives all those involved to accept responsibility and adopt a particular solution or process. After all, their voice was heard.