When it was first suggested that technology could be used to automate and enhance the procurement process, the skeptics rallied. Today, you'd be hard pressed to find a company that hasn't implemented some sort of software to gain greater visibility into and more control over their spend, to more effectively manage their contracts, suppliers and risk, and to streamline and enhance invoicing and payment processes. Yet many still struggle to connect and do business with key trading partners.


Inter-enterprise commerce is still very difficult because it is largely driven by closed systems and processes. The key to extending and improving collaborative trading relationships lies in open systems that can be easily accessed regardless of their architecture or delivery model decisions.


More companies are beginning to rely on these open systems.


More Forecast for Procurement in 2011:

Pt. 1: Out with the Old

Pt. 3: Reaching for the Cloud

Pt. 4: A New Way of Operating


This piece also posted at the Sourcing Interest Group


Kevin Costello is president of Ariba Inc., a leading provider of cloud-based collaborative business commerce solutions.