Category: Technology & IT Procurement

Technology & IT Procurement

Data Privacy and Security: Where Are We in 2019?

Scary stories of cybersecurity incidents, ransomware attacks, data breaches, and/or data privacy violations have sadly become a part of life now. News reports, such as the recent Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal, show how private companies’ lax policies on data sharing and lack of proper auditing leave room for data misuse and abuse. Individuals are entitled to know what information private companies or government organizations have on them and how it is shared and protected. As citizens and consumer advocates are becoming more aware of data privacy and security risks, they are calling upon state and federal government to enact regulations so that living in the digital age doesn’t turn every-day social media users into commodities for companies that are willing to “trade” their personal information to make a profit. Read more “Data Privacy and Security: Where Are We in 2019?”
Technology & IT Procurement

Blockchain: The Public Sector Big Picture

The private sector has invested more than 1.4 billion dollars in blockchain since 2014. To put this number into context, this is on par with the amount of money spent on internet investments during the early 90’s! What do you know about blockchain? Personally, I knew almost nothing besides the fact it was a technology people were excited about and that it had something to do with Bitcoin. Luckily for me, Procurement U recently released a free course entitled “Blockchain: The Public Sector Big Picture”. This course provided me with a basic understanding of how blockchain works and explains it in a simple, approachable way through videos and interactive graphics.  As someone who is not the most technically savvy, I can say that this course helped me understand blockchain and made me excited about its potential uses. This course goes over how blockchain works and how it can be used in procurement. Take this Procurement U course to start exploring blockchain and its uses in your office!

Read more “Blockchain: The Public Sector Big Picture”

Technology & IT Procurement

Top Tips for Procuring Accessible Technology

Imagine trying to use a computer without a mouse. Imagine trying to watch a video without speakers. Imagine trying to type an email on your phone without being able to see the screen. These are all  examples of inaccessibility – and we can imagine how frustrating that would be. Accessible technology means that everyone can use the same technology, no matter how they need to manipulate it in order to process information.
So why is accessible technology so important to procurement?

Read more “Top Tips for Procuring Accessible Technology”

Technology & IT Procurement

Building a Procurement Team for a Digital Future

Want your procurement staff to be ready for the next big thing? There is undeniable value in a staff that is savvy with current technology, but how do you prepare your staff to be ready to keep up with the digital trend that’s here to stay? In many cases, trends come and go, but sometimes they are the forces that drive innovation and success for businesses worldwide. Organizations of all sizes who embrace changing times are better able to develop strategies to manage change in a way that positions themselves for the future. Digitalization is achieved through the use of technology to strengthen existing processes and practices. It can also be looked at as the thread that is woven through multiple silos of information as means to integrate people, processes, and data throughout an organization. Outside of cost savings, there is value in digital efficiency, especially since procurement plays a vital role in shaping strategic models that support the execution of a multitude of contractual goods and services.

Read more “Building a Procurement Team for a Digital Future”

Technology & IT Procurement

The Age of AI: Will Robots Take Over? Part…

Living in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
In the previous installment of this two-part series I discussed the amazing transformation and evolution made possible by automation and technology advancements of the 20th century. Today’s technology transformations such as robotics, artificial intelligence, biotechnologies, and the Internet-of-Things will have a great impact on society, disrupting every industry and improving many aspects of our personal and work lives. They also create problems for governments around the world that must now figure out how to regulate this new environment and respond to socio-economic concerns such as displacement of workers by automation, or inequality.
Of all big tech companies using AI to enhance their products or services, Amazon is clearly leading the pack with home automation products like Alexa, its version of a personal assistant. Facebook has recently sunset “M,” which hoped to take current personal assistants to the next level where the trained AI machine would have had the same knowledge as the user and do more things than regurgitating various scenarios scripted by app developers. However, the race to lead in AI as a service is on.

Read more “The Age of AI: Will Robots Take Over? Part II”

Technology & IT Procurement

The Age of AI: Will Robots Take Over? Part…

The Benefits of Automation
The Technological Revolution, including automation in manufacturing and the automotive industry is synonymous with great innovations and rapid developments taking place during the Second Industrial Revolution in the late 19th century through the early 1900s. Advancements like the assembly line and automated machines, which replaced work that used to be performed manually, led to positive outcomes, including efficiency and mass production of manufactured goods at significantly higher rates.
It’s a known fact that in a manufacturing setting, robotics and automated machines improve productivity and reduce labor costs. And yes, they replace workers. So, it is not surprising that businesses will always embrace automation. To business, automated machines are like the perfect worker who works seven days a week, never takes breaks, never asks for a raise, and never gets sick. Sounds like a deal you simply cannot resist, doesn’t it? Ask the same question of a blue-collar worker displaced due to automation and expect a different answer.

Read more “The Age of AI: Will Robots Take Over? Part I”

Technology & IT Procurement

Have a Safe Cyber 2018

It’s Monday morning and you have just arrived at work…congratulations!  You stroll in with sleep still in your eye as you overhear your coworkers reminisce about their excellent weekends.  You grab your Monday-sized cup of coffee and proceed to your desk, where everything seems just as you left it the Friday before.  Sitting down, you take a big gulp of coffee and flip on your computer.  “NOT AGAIN!” you cry, shaking your fist in the air.  As you shake out the frustration, you turn your attention back to your laptop, which is prompting you to “Please enter a new password.”  Begrudgingly, you attempt to reset your password, as something you will remember but “haven’t used in the past 60 days.”  Sound familiar? With so many digital platforms in today’s world, how are you supposed to keep up with all the information!? There’s a password for email, one for the Amazon, bank accounts, Facebook…the list goes on and on.
Frustrating? Perhaps.  Necessary? Absolutely.  But why?  Cybersecurity!

Read more “Have a Safe Cyber 2018”