Taking Your Procure to Pay Workflows to the Cloud
- Procure to Pay
So you’ve decided it’s time to implement a digital procurement solution. Or maybe you’ve decided to replace the one you have. Either way, it’s not a simple decision.
There are dozens of options, including best-of-breed tools, P2P suite, complete source-to-pay platforms, and more. Deciding on a tool that will fit all your needs, adjust to your organization’s specific standards or requirements, and grow with you as your team expands can seem like a daunting task, especially as procurement continues to evolve.
One area where you don’t need to stress, though, is the question of an on-premises solution or a cloud platform. Bringing your procure-to-pay workflows into the cloud is easier than you might think and provides a wide range of benefits.
Platform vs Best-of-Breed
First, let’s look at the age-old debate around single platform solutions vs. best-of-breed tools. As we’ve written before, the ideal tool is the best of both worlds.
Best-in-class solutions have a deep, rich history. For much of the history of digital procurement, best-of-breed tools have been the go-to for taking control of every detail. They’ve typically had deeper functionality than all-in-one platforms.
Another benefit of specialized tools is the ability to expand capabilities at your own pace. As your organization matures you can add new pieces to your technology stack, so when it comes time for an analytics tool, you can bolt it on to your eProcurement tool.
The shortcoming of this, of course, is that things aren’t as seamlessly integrated as they could be with a single-vendor solution. Things might not quite work perfectly together, and it might take a lot more time and IT power to get everything connected in the first place.
On the other side of the equation are complete source-to-pay platforms. Historically, these systems have offered a much wider set of functionality, but with less depth in each area. However, the gap has closed dramatically in recent years, and platform tools can seriously compete with best-of-breed solutions.
Importantly, single platform suites can streamline integrations and processes with far less overhead. And when cloud functionality is added to the equation, it’s far easier for those systems to integrate. With the redundancies and backups provided by your suite vendor, you don’t have to worry about connections breaking, data syncing improperly, or other issues faced with on-premises solutions.
No matter which route you choose, cloud-based systems are the best practice for data storage and can offer a number of benefits.
Why Cloud is Essential
While many organizations, and especially their security-minded IT departments, were initially hesitant to make the jump from on-premises solutions to a cloud-based system, most teams have since embraced the convenience, reliability and security of cloud tools.
In fact, many solution providers have moved to only implementing cloud instances, no longer offering an on-prem option. And there’s good reason for this. With many of the security concerns of yesteryear accounted for and protected against, the benefits of cloud computing outweigh any drawbacks by a sizeable margin.
First and foremost, moving your S2P workflows to the cloud will enable new levels of efficiency, automation and innovation.
Automated procurement – the process of automating your routine tasks in order to free up time for more strategic efforts – depends on data connections and collaboration that you just can’t get with an on-prem tool.
A cloud solution provides one database, giving you a single source of truth for all your supplier, spend and contract data. More than that, it gives all necessary users access to that information in real-time, ensuring complete transparency. This builds a pathway to augmented analytics, where data can be quickly and easily shared in digestible reports for each user in your organization.
With the speed of technological evolution today, it’s key for your team to have access to the latest tools and features automatically. For example, JAGGAER’s Digital Mind is revolutionizing how users interact with their procurement platforms. With an on-premises solution, software providers cannot make updates as quickly, leaving you behind the times.
Finally, collaboration on a cloud platform is far easier and more streamlined. Users can work alongside each other on the same contract document or auction, approval workflows are managed simply, and versioning struggles are a thing of the past.
Work from anywhere
A second major benefit of a cloud platform is that users can immediately work from anywhere, just as if they were in the office, without the need for costly or complicated VPN connections. 2020 showed all of us exactly how important that flexibility can be. Those organizations with cloud solutions were able to adjust quickly and maintain business as usual, like JAGGAER customer JLL.
This also means that it’s easy to share data and reports with users around the world. Whether it’s internal stakeholders, key partners or simply other team members, a cloud platform allows you to build and share reports in seconds without having to spend time exporting, downloading and uploading data.
Finally, cloud solutions provide easy-to-use portals for your suppliers that don’t depend on your internal servers or security. That means suppliers can quickly and easily make updates, answer questions or report status changes. You stay better informed and build stronger connections with your vendors.
Data integrity and security are top of mind for many organizations, especially IT teams. We’ve seen the consequences of lax data protections.
With cloud solutions, data redundancies are accounted for. You don’t need to engage IT and create the extra work of setting up redundant servers for data backup. Instead, your solution provider automatically creates multiple secure backups to guard against data loss.
Cloud providers also have teams of data security experts to make sure that your information, and that of your suppliers, partners and customers, is safe. While cloud security used to be a big worry, Salesforce actually found that 83% of tech leaders trust cloud security more than ever. So you can rest easy knowing that your information is protected.
Cloud is the Future
With so many clear benefits, it’s clear that a cloud solution is the way to go, whether you’re looking at a single-vendor suite or best-of-breed tools.
JAGGAER offers a comprehensive source-to-pay solution in the cloud. To get started with moving your procure-to-pay workflows into the cloud, contact us today.