Cloud technology is driving change and accelerating digital transformation across multiple industries simultaneously. Not only is cloud technology itself evolving at pace, but the way organisations buy and manage software is having to adapt as well.
Marilyn Moodley, Country Leader for South Africa and WECA (West, East, Central Africa) at SoftwareONE, says navigating multiple systems, processes, and software licence agreements presents a significant challenge.
“Software is one of the largest expenses for many organisations. But the buying, optimising and management of that software requires the right balance between tools and digitisation, processes and expertise that work together to reduce costs and the administrative burden on IT and procurement teams,” Moodley says.
She says the bourgeoning number of enterprise applications means IT procurement and asset managers are under increasing pressure to deliver efficiencies and cost savings while improving user experience through faster response times and automation strategies.
“Taking into account the resources required to manage licenses and user requests, ensure compliance, and manage spending, organisations are constantly looking for ways to eliminate unnecessary IT costs and optimise contracts across their software and cloud portfolios.”
Moodley explains that IT Procurement functions need to evolve into connected, efficient and digitised operations to address business demands more rapidly and effectively.
What is a DSC – Digital Supply Chain?
A software Digital Supply Chain (DSC) is created through a seamless, integrated set of systems and activities across the software lifecycle to support these goals through automating and expediting the purchase of approved products in a portfolio while streamlining the process of requesting and acquiring new software products and services, via the right channels.
According to Moodley, “Ineffective software procurement processes pose compliance challenges as businesses don’t have on-demand access to the right information regarding their license entitlements and contract use rights, such as any applicable geographic restrictions or their renewal options that would let them make the right buying decisions.”
“Missing renewal deadlines due to lack of visibility and monitoring is not only detrimental to productivity, but it also leaves little time to prepare for contract negotiations,” says Moodley.
She adds that because cloud and software are often some of the largest investments a company makes, it makes sense to take digital supply chain management seriously as a means of improving an organisation’s bottom line.
Benefits of a DSC
In addition to improved efficiencies, cost savings, and overall end-user experience, an effective digital supply chain embeds automation by eliminating time-consuming manual tasks and ensuring the right software is in the hands of the right user at the right time.
“Despite this, very few businesses have the tools to ensure that this spend is continuously cost-optimised and aligned with business objectives,” says Moodley.
Moodley says there is a growing interest in this area.
“As South African organisations mature their cloud strategies, business leaders are seeing the inherent value and importance of streamlining their supply chains,” she says.
“International examples are very instructive, as Omnico, a leading global guest engagement technology company headquartered in the UK, halved its cloud spend costs using SoftwareONE’s PyraCloud and managed cloud services. South African organisations who want to remain competitive should be putting a digital supply chain in place if they haven’t already.”