Tag: Technology & IT Procurement

Technology & IT Procurement

Can’t Touch This: No touch/low touch solutions

Raise your hand if you have touched at least four things today that do not belong to you. Keep your hand up if your toddler touched an additional seventeen things that do not belong to you. What if there were ways to reduce the number of things you and your toddler touch? Would you buy or use them? Read more “Can’t Touch This: No touch/low touch solutions”
Technology & IT Procurement

Back to School Technology: Are You Ready?

Most districts and states have begun working through the logistics of returning to school for faculty, staff, and students. Many lessons were learned over the spring and early summer about how to implement distance education and working from home. However, access and digital security issues remain. Unfortunately, these issues will not be resolved unless we take in the entire landscape of making the digital connection from students to instructors in a virtual environment. Below are some things to consider.

Read more “Back to School Technology: Are You Ready?”

Emergency Procurement & Risk Management

What You Should Know about Contact Tracing

What happens when someone tests positive for a dangerously contagious disease? Contact tracing is already a daily task for public health departments and organizations nationwide. Nearly 100 infectious diseases are currently tracked. Now, Covid-19 is forcing a rapid expansion of contact tracing capabilities as agencies seek to monitor its spread.

Read more “What You Should Know about Contact Tracing”

Professional Development

Ease Working From Home

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many organizations to figure out how to best adjust their workflows and training programs to meet the changing demands of our current work environment. This means many organizations (NASPO and Procurement U included) are moving to remote work options. While it is important for every organization to do something, the reality is that it can be much more challenging for some organizations to quickly ramp up a work-from-home situation, and training programs are left evaluating their ability to deliver effective training in a virtual environment.
Below are some tips and resources that could help you manage virtual training or remote work options. Read more “Ease Working From Home”
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”