E-Procurement And Cloud Technologies Are The Future For Government
If any organisation understands the necessity for streamlined and integrated systems, it is the largest and most complex organisation in the UK, HM Government. Successive governments have consistently spent large volumes of money on an array of IT projects, all of which have the objective of making the government more efficient, cheaper, greener and better value for money. Many of these projects have been a shambles but the core e-procurement drive is still as strong as ever.
E-procurement is packed with benefits for government and meets many of its core objectives. The current e-enablement strategy is designed to drive forwards with e-procurement through the sourcing and development of a number of symbiotic modules, all of which combine to create a system of e-procurement that the government can roll out across the public sector.
E-procurement is a well-known buzzword in government circles with consultation papers outlining the benefits going back as far as 2002. The vision then and now have changed little – the only real difference being the astounding advances in technology, including cloud computing, that have happened over the ten years since that first paper.
Cloud Based E-Procurement Benefits
Cloud based systems of any type are far cheaper to implement and operate than traditional server bases systems. In the cloud, there is no hardware, software, local server issues and any of the associated high costs. The cloud also has a major role to play in business continuity and security as the systems can be backed up, off site, at multiple locations around the world.
The Benefits of the Actual System to Running Government Are Manifold:
– Improved efficiency – shorter transaction times, fewer transaction steps, fewer members of staff involved, better business insight leading to greater efficiencies in future.
– More environmentally friendly – Less paper, less fuel, less printer ink all add up to a big impact upon the environment on a governmental scale. Reducing these not only saves a lot of money, it also helps the government to reduce its carbon footprint.
– Information sharing – Better communication, better oversight over what is happening in the business and better reporting enable policy makers and managers to glean further benefits from the system thanks to the right information being available at the right time, to the right people.
– Economies of scale – By consolidating purchasing across multiple departments, the government can take advantage of huge savings that were not available when purchasing was separate.
– Economic benefits – Significantly, one of the driving factors behind e-procurement is the huge benefit to SME’s. The system opens up the government tendering process to smaller companies and gives much greater transparency the entire tender prices. Much of government economic policy revolves around the importance of SMEs in the growth of the economy and future e-procurement and e-tendering is considered the best way to encourage their involvement.
There are few, if any disadvantages to adopting e-procurement technologies in government. Yes, the cost of implementation and staff training is not insignificant, but with such enormous savings being made, as well as the added benefits unrelated to saving money, the return on investment to the taxpayer makes the drive worthwhile. The future is, and always has been, in e-procurement and other cloud based technologies that make government smaller, cheaper and more efficient than ever before, whilst bringing added economic benefits and jobs to the country as a whole.
- License: Creative Commons image source
About The Author: Daniel writes on behalf of Procserve where he has been learning about Government E-Procurement. Daniel also writes about cloud computing, check out the link for more information.