Over the past few years, technological developments like cloud-native platforms, AI-driven solutions, and robotic process automation (RPA) have been upgraded from \u201cnice to have\u201d to \u201cmust have\u201d in the procurement function. Technology now drives procurement and has pushed a dramatic reengineering of its processes. As a result, the CPO\u2019s remit has changed as well \u2013 much less tactical and much more strategic; more collaborative, especially with finance; and more accountable for direct bottom-line impact.\nFrankly, some procurement organizations have found it hard to keep up with the pace of change. Transformation and technology implementation can be slow and difficult. In a recent survey by The Hackett Group, 84% of respondents said digital transformation would fundamentally change the way procurement services are delivered over the next 3 to 5 years; but only 32% said that they actually had a digital transformation strategy in place.\nEnter the CIO. As procurement and finance teams strive to create greater value for the business by harnessing new, disruptive digital technologies, the CIO\u2019s organization has a key role to play in enabling and catalyzing this digital transformation. Here are 4 proven ways in which CIOs and other IT leaders can collaborate with CPOs and other procurement leaders to drive greater enterprise-wide value.\n1. Align Technology to Business Needs\nDevelop a strong understanding of procurement and finance function objectives and the key technological challenges faced by these key business partners. While there could be competing priorities, it is important to drive the decision-making process based on an elevated understanding of the overall business strategy and align the enterprise\u2019s tech capabilities with business goals.\n2. Agree on the Business Goals\nIt\u2019s critical to work closely with procurement and finance teams to have a clear understanding of expected outcomes from a technology standpoint. CIOs should identify key performance indicators and establish processes to measure progress on a regular basis, as well as periodically revisit business goals with procurement, identifying any necessary course correction to realign with new goals.\n3. Pool Knowledge to Identify the Best Solution\nAn ideal solution from a tech point of view may not be the best solution from procurement\u2019s standpoint, and vice versa. It\u2019s important that buying decisions be made together with input from CPOs and senior procurement leaders, who likely have perspectives derived from experience within their respective functions. CIOs in turn can help procurement identify and deploy new technologies powered by AI, big data, IoT, blockchain, etc. Procurement solutions that incorporate these technologies \u2015 such as the SMART by GEP unified source-to-pay software platform \u2015 can accelerate digital transformation. They amplify productivity, boost accuracy and savings, and deliver next-level performance.\nOnce the teams have identified the best solution, successful deployment largely depends on close collaboration between IT and procurement. Mutual support helps achieve the right balance between speed and efficacy, as well as optimal management of the change process, which yields higher adoption rates and faster delivery of results.\n4. Create a Larger Ecosystem\nDisparate systems and disjointed point solutions fail to provide a holistic picture of progress \u2013 or lack thereof \u2013 toward meeting business goals. CIOs must look at deploying a cloud-based, end-to-end solution that enables fluid, cross-functional flow of information between procurement, enterprise buyers, suppliers, and the finance team, operating from multiple locations across the globe.\nFluid information flow, both internally and with external stakeholders, boosts transparency and reduces the requirement of constant coordination, allowing process improvements and facilitating informed, more effective decision-making. The larger procurement and supply chain ecosystem resulting from a cloud-based source-to-pay solution also facilitates supplier integration, superior supplier performance management, and savings tracking.\nUnified. Intuitive. Secure.\nSMART by GEP is a unified procurement platform purpose-built on a single cloud-native code base with no silos, no seams, and a beautifully designed, \u201cconsumerized\u201d work environment. Our software leverages AI and big data analytics to streamline and automate processes, delivering big boosts in productivity and user satisfaction.\nMobile- and touch-native SMART by GEP is built on the market-leading Microsoft Azure cloud platform \u2014 a world-class, enterprise-scale infrastructure that very few individual companies can match. It integrates effortlessly into any major ERP system or existing investment in sourcing and procurement software. To learn more about how SMART by GEP can quickly generate greater profitability for your enterprise, contact us today.