Ivalua Blog

Duct Tape Can’t Fix Your Legacy Systems Public Sector



Mike Cook, Head of Public Sector Solutions, Ivalua

A decade ago, very few Public Sector jurisdictions or agencies were concerned about the amount of disparate systems they were operating and what data-driven challenges this might lead to in the future. If they needed contract management, they put a contract management system in place. If they needed an ERP system or a workforce management system, they would define their requirements and either select a system to implement or build their own. 

While each system might have met the transactional needs of a specific process very well, it kept the data about those transactions siloed. Fast forward to today, having many different systems with separate pockets of data has created not only transparency issues, it increases the amount of manual work that must be done to answer even the most straightforward inquiries.

Technology has changed significantly over the last decade. A migration towards platform technologies that centralize functionality, the user interface and data has begun. This, in turn, opens the door to powerful analytics engines and AI-fueled applications that can answer increasingly complex questions by pulling data from more than one source or transaction. And while the impact of these systems are significant, the bigger change has been in the mindset and expectations of users: in this case, the general public.

Ten years ago, when the current systems were selected and put in place, people were still primarily shopping at brick-and-mortar retailers. In the time that has passed, the traditional method has been surpassed, not just by online retailers such as Amazon, but the ability to place and track orders from a mobile phone. The Public Sector may be held back by technology rather than an intent to obscure spending activity, but for too many constituents, it has the same effect.

The Public Sector needs to emphasize transparency, to show the public ‘the money’. All systems must make it possible to track and report on what is being done with funds so that taxpayers have sufficient understanding and trust the decisions being made. The same is true of the companies looking to supply the Public Sector with goods and services. They also want transparency, but in their case, it is visibility into new bids, the state of existing bids, awards, and payment status.

Given these needs, let’s think back to the current state of public procurement technology. Frankly, they are struggling. Most organizations have multiple systems that they bought and are continuing to invest in, but none of them ‘talk’ to each other. There is no access or cross pollination between databases. Although they have digitalized some of their workflows and met specific process needs from a technology perspective, the challenges continue. In some cases, the work required to pull information from system to system is so manual that it is as though no investment in technology had been made at all. 

The financial burden of operating multiple independent platforms is measurable, but what is not measurable is the opportunity cost that these platforms inflict when it comes to limiting innovation and process improvement. Innovation has the ability to develop new revenue sources, attract better talent, and most importantly enhance the level of service to the general public. Some public sector jurisdictions are already on their journey, and many are seeing the benefits, even early on. The time to take the first step is now. It can be as simple as just evaluating the current situation to understand where the processes are breaking down. 

I can assure you this is one problem that duct tape won’t be able to fix. 

Why Ivalua for Public Sector?

Ivalua for Public Sector was purpose built to address the unique issues facing the Public Sector entities. Our Public Sector solution will grow with you, configure to your specific needs, and most importantly meet your ever-changing demands.  Our Public Portal provides public access to solicitation, awarded contracts, analytics, and details of the end-to-end bid management process to provide greater visibility, context, and supplier inclusion for active and planned solicitations. Ivalua provides you with an adaptive source-to-pay platform configured to your specific needs, unlocking innovation through enhanced flexibility and transparency.  This is what Ivalua for Public Sector can do for you. 

If you would like to speak to Mike and his team please get in touch to arrange a demo 

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