A recently released study by Futurum Research and SAP looks into the forces that have shaped both the demand for, and the process of, enterprise software procurement.
The study involved over 1,000 business professionals from both large and small organisations involved in the procurement of enterprise software in areas such as customer relationship management (CRM); analytics and business intelligence (BI) tools; enterprise content management (ECM); enterprise resource management (ERP); human capital management (HCM); and database and data management to name just a few.
It spanned over a dozen industries distributed across North America, South America, Europe and Asia, and revealed eight key forces to understanding the evolution of enterprise software procurement, and what to expect over the coming years.
Here are the 8 key forces, followed by Future's insight's as to their implications for the future of enterprise software procurement:
1. Business Needs Have Changed = More Software, Faster
"As business requirements change, so too does the type of software enterprises need to procure. Increased demand for new/updated enterprise software solutions will require procurement teams – already impacted by staffing and distributed colleagues – to streamline and reduce friction from existing procurement processes."
2. Rapidly Changing Requirements and Needs
"In the midst of changing requirements and unclear needs definition, procurement teams will need to find a way to stay ahead of requirements and up to speed on a range of software solutions."
3. Executive Leadership is Stepping Up
"Both corporate executives and procurement teams have become much more involved in determining software needs and in being part of the testing and acceptance process.
For corporate executives, we see this as essential (as they are new frequently the dominant driver of business/tech strategy).
For procurement professionals, we see their involvement as critical to helping organisations adequately match emerging needs to emerging software capabilities -- procurement must stay ahead of the curve."
4. Decisions are Distributed and Complex
"The larger the enterprise the more complex the decision mix and the greater the need for a well-orchestrated workflow and collaboration process."
5. Collaboration (via Email) is Key
"Email is the universal collaboration tool, but as procurement decisions increase in size and complexity scheduling, document sharing, and program management tools will become important to the collaboration process."
6. The Role of the Sales Rep is Evolving (shrinking)
"While the importance of face-to-face meetings with sales reps is declining, they will continue to play an important part of the procurement journey (one that should not be underestimated)."
7. Software Demos and Trials are Key
"In a procurement environment that is increasingly digital, demonstrations and un-fettered product trials will become increasingly important and a key element to obtain buy-in across the enterprise."
8. The Future of Procurement is Digital
"In a digital world, Digital Marketplaces have much to offer as a vendor-neutral resource for procurement professionals.
While vendor-specific sites may have greater adoption today, we expect that the combination of information, reviews, comparisons, and one-stop-research and procurement will appeal to many organizations looking to add impartiality and transparency to their procurement process."