02 Mar 2010 Procurement Software on Your iPhone?
It’s well known that the biggest challenge in implementing procurement software successfully is managing the change in people’s behaviours. Some environments are worse than others of course. Implementing procurement software in an office environment where everyone uses a computer familiar with a browser based GUI for common business applications is not really a challenge. But try implementing procurement software where the approver is standing in the middle of a construction site or on a busy factory floor. What if your approver is always on the road? It’s in environments like these where the dinosaurs thrive and where it can be difficult to move from paper based processes.
There are solutions of course. Laptops and VPNs have allowed users to operate remotely for years extending the reach of the enterprise application and computerised business processes and handheld devices have evolved to become robust and sturdy suitable for the most demanding conditions in the field – at a price. And this is were the problem lies. At $1,000 a pop, a handheld device compared to a requisition pad is never going to be acceptable. It’s not just been with procurement software. There’s a number of business applications that could be rolled out to inhospitable environment using a handheld device but the perceived need for an indestructible device has meant that price destroys the business case and the dinosaurs continue to roam.
Procurement Software on Your iPhone
Funny that. Because there’s been no such problem with the mobile phone. You don’t hear the dinosaur saying “I’d use a mobile phone but it needs to be clad in a titanium based alloy and coated in rubber to withstand knocks of up to 3.0 on the Richter scale…” No. They just use them and if they fall in a muddy puddle they pick ‘em up, wipe ‘em down and use them again. And if they break – they get a new one.
Coupa is already marketing their iPhone capability and we’ll no doubt see more and more smart phone applications being used to extend the reach of enterprise applications.
About time too!