The tech revolution has been slow to catch on with the government procurement process but the transformation of public sector procurement is about to accelerate tremendously in 2019.
Vishal Patel wrote about the coming changes in government procurement in this report published by the Federal News Network:
Procurement leaders in government are more aware and informed now than ever before and as such, they want the best as opposed to “what’s worked before.” Increasingly they are learning from the digital procurement transformation in the private sector and paying more attention to technology trends. There is more research on public sector procurement now with efforts such as Governing Institutes State Procurement Survey and Public Spend Forum. Government is getting smarter and looking for cloud-based platforms that can cover all their source-to-pay needs as well as be configured to meet the needs of individual agencies. They understand that solutions need to be modern and user-friendly for all users including end-users, procurement and suppliers in order to have an impact.
A model that is talked about often in the private sector will become more commonplace in public sector. Customer centricity requires that procurement thinks of itself as a service provider, which means providing expertise and insight, understanding the goals, objectives and requirements of stakeholders, managing projects and change, etc.
As with all things technology related, data is key. This is even truer as we enter the era of digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and internet of things. Without having a handle on good, clean data, transformation and digitization efforts can be quickly stymied.
Having a strategy to improve the quality of supplier master data, for example, is a key one for procurement and will be important in order to reap more benefits from any procurement transformation. Good data is also the only way to develop strong strategic plans and initiatives that will help better manage spend and suppliers.
Following the previous point, getting a good handle on data is difficult without the right talent. As with all industries, public sector procurement organizations must equip themselves with the right talent around data, analytics and all things digital.