[Column] Marilyn Moodley: A digitised supply chain has become a necessity for building business efficiency

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.”

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 spend, 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. 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.

“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,” says Moodley.

“Establishing a system of records, that holds trustworthy software entitlements and contracts data, combined with insights & analytics is one of the largest challenges facing organisations today, and a lack of an effective digital supply chain makes that even harder to accomplish. Missing renewal deadlines due to lack of visibility and monitoring is not only detrimental to productivity, it 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. 

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.

SoftwareONE’s Digital Supply Chain (DSC) service, powered by the PyraCloud platform, solves a multitude of challenges by providing organisations with the right mix of tools, automated workflows and experts to more closely align software purchases to business requirements. The service allows customers to easily and effectively transact software licenses and cloud subscriptions; view the entire on-premises and cloud software estate; manage contracts; track, control and predict cloud spend across multiple providers; and identify cost saving opportunities across the entire software estate.

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. 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.”

Marilyn Moodley is the South African Country Leader for SoftwareONE.