P2P Booby Traps and Security Theater


Still in the dark about cloud P2P myths?

Last week Kelly Barner took us for our first ride in the Determine Myth Machine, solving some of the mysteries and misconceptions that continue to swirl around cloud P2P. As she explained in that post:

  • Yes, your data will be secure in the cloud.
  • No, fast access to your data won’t be compromised in the cloud.

But the P2P booby traps and myths don’t end there, do they?

What about spend visibility and control? After all, it’s when the lights go out and our eyes begin to play tricks on us that Scooby-Doo and the gang face their greatest challenges. Let’s debunk two more spooky cloud P2P myths.

Myth: I have less visibility into my spend when it is hosted in the cloud.

Poor Scooby. Despite his imposing size and tracking-strength sense of smell, he’s more of a scaredy cat than a Great Dane. At the first sign, sound or smell of danger, he jumps into Shaggy’s arms while his teeth chatter like a skeleton with rattling bones. As a low-risk dog, he would be much better off with a gang of yard sale aficionados or foodies than sleuths.

While his risk-aversion is highly amusing, procurement actually shares some of the same instincts. When faced with the transition of supplier and spend data off of laptops and out of shared drives and into the cloud, they cling to their spreadsheets for dear life (teeth chattering optional).

It may feel better to manage data locally for the sake of familiarity and convenience, but in reality it is “security theater.” The illusion of control does not mean that procurement is actually in control of that data or that it is being used to maximum effect. In fact, separating data from the people and processes that created it is far riskier than learning a new approach to analysis or refining an online taxonomy to match what procurement is accustomed to seeing.

For all the clinging, and the temporary comfort that spreadsheets bring, the data is not procurement’s — it never was. The whole value proposition of cloud P2P is based on reaching more eyeballs, not less, just as long as those eyeballs aren’t peeking out at you from the darkness.

Myth: When my P2P process is in the cloud, I lose control over it.

Most of the cloud myths we’ve busted to date involve fears around P2P data. But that still leaves the P2P process. Who’s going to manage that beast if all purchasing and payment activity is elevated to cloud-height beyond procurement’s reach?

This particular mystery quickly becomes a rescue mission, using cloud platform-enabled workflows to set your IT team free from the box they’ve been stuck in after falling through the trap door innocuously labeled “on premise.” As Scooby-Doo gang member Fred once said, “This place is booby trapped out the wazoo!” On premise P2P is no different.

Like all other enterprise resource allocations, technology implementations should provide maximum ROI from each set of experts. Distracting your IT organization with technical details or administrative tasks that can easily be handled by a P2P provider is a waste of their time and attention, especially when automation is at the heart of enterprise differentiation.

Besides, as procurement knows better than any other function, dogmatic (no pun intended) insistence upon a process as “the right way to work” doesn’t guarantee people will follow the rules. When implemented correctly, and with the right level of user/leadership input, cloud P2P can actually increase compliance by making information, suppliers and resources naturally easier to access — and reduce the number of IT booby traps too.

It is easy to root for Scooby and the gang because they are clearly on the right side of every mystery. The villain always has a nefarious motive and is willing to go to any lengths, including material loss and harm to others, to get what they want.

While there is no intentional villain in the cloud P2P debate, constant whispers and misunderstandings can do just as much harm as a jaded old stagehand in a frog suit. It falls to procurement to act with courage, addressing worry and doubt with bright lights and facts, just like Scooby and “those meddling kids.”

If you’re ready to shed some light on your procurement processes and explore the possibilities of cloud P2P, schedule a no-obligation personalized demonstration of our Procurement Solution on the Corcentric Platform.