E-procurement has increasingly been used in business to business transactions, but is now also growing in popularity with various government and council departments. In addition, efforts have been made to increase government dependency on cloud based services. Both of these changes are examples of an overall government initiative to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and promote a more environmentally friendly way of working.
Government E-procurement Policy
In the past few years UK governmental policy has been that all government services at a state and local authority level should be able to be delivered electronically. This means that the expectation is for electronic systems to be used at every stage of the procurement process, from sourcing, to ordering, to paying for goods and services. This is part of a larger strategy, which includes making use of cloud services, to make the government’s Information and Communication Technology operations as efficient as possible.
The Benefits of E-procurement and Cloud Technologies
E-procurement systems and cloud technologies improve efficiency in transactions and operations, and as a result they generate savings. Ultimately these savings benefit taxpayers. A focus on highly effective ICT systems leads to faster processing and reduces transaction costs. Furthermore, communication is easier and faster. This is beneficial when it comes to interactions between the government and service providers, as well as goods suppliers. Improved communication through ICT also leads to more effective sharing of information between governmental departments.
Another benefit of e-procurement and cloud technologies is that they reduce wastage, and are therefore better for the environment. The government has put in place a specialist Green Delivery Unit to ensure that its ICT systems are as environmentally friendly as possible, and to aid in its commitment to reducing carbon emissions overall. By determining to only use e-procurement and cloud technologies, the government will prevent a huge amount of wastage on items such as paper and printer ink. Furthermore, the monetary savings made by not using these items will be substantial.
E-procurement and Cloud Technologies in Practice
There are many ways in which e-procurement and cloud technologies have improved government operations, and as time goes on departments and local authorities will become more adept at using these systems. For example, people in different departments can view documents in the cloud rather than having multiple printed copies, and video conferencing can reduce the need to travel to meetings. In terms of e-procurement, it is important to focus on what is being purchased, as well as the methods of buying. As an example, any electrical items or computer technology that is bought for government departments should be energy efficient.
The government has already begun the process of ensuring that all procurement is carried out electronically, and that cloud technologies are used whenever possible. The improved efficiency and lower costs that have resulted from this strategy will ensure that the systems are kept in place, and even improved upon. E-procurement and cloud technologies will eventually be used in every facet of government, including local authorities, which will be beneficial for the environment as well as the taxpayer.
About the author: Procserve are the UK’s leading solutions provider for E-Procurement Systems. They have successfully delivered projects for numerous government organisations and schools.