WBR Insights

July 13-July 13, 2017

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How to Drive Transformative Change Through CIO and CPO Alignment



The days of CPOs and CIOs being in charge of separate spheres of influence are a thing of the past, with technology spending becoming its own category within most organizations.

As procurement seeks to develop a more hands-on style of engagement with IT, however, something still has to give--procurement needs to gain expertise and trust from their IT counterparts to successfully speak the same language.

As it turns out, the interest in collaboration actually goes both ways.

That's why WBR Insights partnered with Amazon Business and Coupa to bring you a C-level report that highlights attitudes on procurement and IT collaboration, painting a picture of what an effective, close working relationship between the CPO and CIO would look like.

After surveying CPOs and CIOs that attended ProcureCon Indirect East 2017, the majority of respondents (a whopping 82%) claim that they desire constant collaboration.

What Does Constant Collaboration Look Like?

"I agree with the perspective that there needs to be a close working relationship between IT and Procurement," says Henry Dreschler, the Director of Global Indirect Procurement at HP. "I can represent what it looks like in what we're doing in HP today. Today in HP I am the procurement person for IT, and I sit in the CIO staff meetings. I hear all the conversations, I understand where the strategic plans are going, and I can therefore create my procurement strategies around where the IT organization is heading. The key for procurement to add value is to get involved early in the process."

So, it's clear: there is an overwhelming interest in improving the CPO/CIO relationship, but that can only be done by working in a consultative capacity. CPOs see an opportunity to align with CIOs to create greater business efficiencies and drive digital transformation initiatives forward.

How can they?

Well, it's more than just taking a shared interest in how those massive IT budgets are allocated. The CPO and CIO should develop a shared ability to drive the overall efficiency of the business in major ways--with true collaboration, the CPO and CIO can bring together threads from across many departments, identifying ways to improve the everyday functionality of other units, not just their own.

Henry puts it best.

"When you have IT out negotiating terms and conditions or you have procurement trying to do the technical specifications, it doesn't work. These roles don't have to be so black and white, but we have to be talking to each other. Sometimes we'll step a little over the line, or IT will, but it's all through the dialogue that we're able to work those things out."


Interested in hearing more about what Henry has to say--not to mention other thoughts from VSP Global and BNY Mellon, as well as the peer-driven statistics conducted from our study?
Download the free report today for the full analysis.