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The world is moving faster every day.  Not literally – our average pace in orbit around the sun remains about 67,000 mph.  Granted, that’s pretty fast from the perspective of we earthlings who don’t often feel like we’re moving at all when we think we’re standing still.  But the world we live in, and especially the technology that surrounds us, is advancing at an exponential rate.  The data and software that once required dedicated and complicated physical space has begun to migrate to cloud systems that are easier to access, more mobile and faster than ever. 

Wait, so how fast do clouds move?  On average, anywhere from 30 to 100 mph; and their technological versions are moving much, much faster.  The observable trends for cloud-based technology in the general marketplace are also affecting the business world.  Procurement professionals should take note as they will no doubt be a growing part of these trends in the cloud:

Sophisticated Security

Data security has continued to be a concern for organizations and much effort and spend has been devoted to locking down and protecting private information behind walls and barriers in physical spaces.  The idea of cloud storage can cause concern for those unfamiliar with how it actually works because there is a perceived lack of control and safety when your data isn’t in your locked server room.  In reality, cloud storage improves security in a number of ways, by making data more easily accessible to users who might otherwise find ways around the system for convenience.  Additionally, data in the cloud is protected by multiple layers of security that are monitored and updated continuously by experts beyond your in-house team.

Phenomenal Flexibility

The old standards of 9-5 work days spent behind desks in office buildings are numbered for many.  Technology is enabling telecommuting options that allow workers to log in, collaborate and produce from anywhere, anytime.  Younger workers consistently check the box of “flexible work hours” as a top priority in their job selections. These factors all come together in the reality that for businesses to be competitive and attract/retain talent, they must consider alternative working options. The cloud makes it easy for businesses to offer round-the-clock accessibility for remote workers, increasing productivity and happiness for their workforces.

Curtailing Costs

Business leaders are now more than ever looking for ways to manage spend effectively to get more value from investments across the enterprise.  The expense of maintaining an on-premises computing solution can burden business budgets with requirements for licenses, hardware and maintenance. Cloud based solutions don’t require additional infrastructure and eliminate the need for ongoing maintenance and upgrades, freeing business dollars for other projects and initiatives.  A business can effectively do more with less by employing a cloud-based solution.

Impact on Procurement

Procurement teams will be affected by changes arising from these trends, and for the better!  Adoption of cloud computing solutions and cloud based procurement software will allow for higher efficiency and better business outcomes, all while protecting data security, freeing workers to manage projects on their schedules and saving overhead for the larger business.

Mobile and Cloud

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