Strategic sourcing is all about centralizing material acquisition and purchasing, relieving localized departments of procurement responsibilities.
The concept of migrating an assortment of disparate systems to a single, cloud-based solution is quite similar to consolidating sourcing efforts, in many respects. Addressing the needs of professionals working at offices distributed across an entire continent requires assiduous attention from those in charge of obtaining licenses to use software.
Of course, assessing these needs is no easy task. TechTarget contributor Lauren Horwitz noted challenges Condé Nast International's Director of Technology Projects Victoria Willis encountered when migrating the company's on-premise applications to the Salesforce cloud.
"Before three years ago, all technology decisions were made locally," said Willis, as quoted by Horwitz. "Now, we're trying to implement systems across the global company."
Taking the initiative
If an enterprise's leaders deduce that investing in cloud-based software is needed, there are a number of considerations they must take into account when choosing a provider, such as:
- Options: Out of dozens of providers, which one can deliver cloud-based software that fits the needs of enterprise employees?
- Defense: Which implementation delivers a strong data protection and user authorization framework? Does the developer have security credentials?
- Support: Will staff have to undergo extensive training after the solution is online? Is it necessary to hire consultants when transitioning on-premise tools to the cloud service?
- Relevancy: Is it possible that the new system will grow outdated after five years? If so, would it be smart to hire a software engineering team that can adjust the deployment as the years progress?
The last point in particular deserves a bit more attention. Onboarding experts to conduct maintenance and regularly make improvements is a good decision, but it may not be possible. For example, a request for proposal may state that a company can manipulate the software's coding under the condition that such changes be made by professionals who have received accreditation from the vendor.
Preparing for deployment
After RFP agreements have been established, enterprises should outline timelines for the implementations to abide by. Horwitz maintained that this not only gets the initiative rolling, it gives developers a concrete idea of where in the deployment process they should be.
In addition, businesses must reach out to employees who are known for using every tool solutions have to offer. Introduce them to the software before rollout occurs, and prepare them to train their colleagues when the time comes.