Data is the Digital Enabler

Data is the Digital Enabler

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For CIOs and CPOs, it is clear that a data strategy is fundamental to effective systems and this is more important as organisations consider moving away from one tool or family of tools under a common platform to multiple best-of-breed tools. To this end, it is worth sharing two great updates in this space from conversations and content that has been released recently.

Really interesting to hear about the Bid Ops product recently and its ability to support AI-led rapid sourcing. Personally, I found Edmund Zagorin‘s perspective on the data changes that have happened from the advent of single supply chain databases in the late 1970’s through to the cloud-based tools of today fascinating. Clearly the ability to ensure effective integration, privacy/security and quality are core but are all solvable with cloud-based solutions. An example is how systems like salesforce integrate with LinkedIn to have live synched data across both private and public clouds that are both secure and private. 

Kudos to Kelly Barner, Sammeli Sammalkorpi and the team at Buyers Meeting point who have teamed up with Sievo,, Ecovadis and Basware to share some insights in the procurement data world. The report is a great read for procurement professionals who need external data to support their system landscape and improve business decision support. Several key insights come out, especially in the respective areas of spend analytics, risk, diversity, sustainability and P2P enablement with key highlights being:

  1. Data is the coral on which an ecosystem is built. Don’t aim to have the reef built when you start but enable it by allowing data to be changed easily when errors are spotted.
  2. Partner organisations can help hugely accelerate the quality of your data (there are few examples of free and good quality data, so you often have to pay for it). Key is in determining what you pay for and making sure that it is focused on the areas that will add the most value (e.g. doing deep due diligence on suppliers that are your highest risk instead of doing a medium job across every supplier).
  3. As the debate between what Sami Peltonen calls the “competitive advantage” of best of breed in favour of perceived safety of traditional ecosystems continues, the place of AI and machine learning is critical to supporting the key journey of improving user experience – both on the supplier onboarding and internal stakeholder use.

As a supply chain practitioner for over 20 years, the value of well managed data has been a clear thread in every role and industry I have worked in. I’m excited to be joining the ProcureTech team as they help to simplify the landscape for buyers and help great new technology providers make room for themselves within the successful digital system architecture of organizations of the future. How these providers support their customers to manage data is a key part of how they can be successful.


Andrew Dougal, ProcureTech

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