Year of Publication



Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Executive Summary

Procure-to-Pay (P2P) softwares are an integral part of the payment and procurement processing functions at large-scale governmental institutions. These softwares house all of the financial functions related to procurement, accounts payable, and often human resources, helping to facilitate and automate the process from initiation of a payment or purchase, to the actual disbursal of funds. Often, these softwares contain budgeting and financial reporting tools as part of the offering. As such an integral part of the financial process, these softwares obviously come at an immense cost from a set of reputable vendors. In the case of government, these vendors mainly consist of Oracle, SAP and Jagger.

This paper will explore the evolution of P2P software from its birth as an IBM solution to strategic sourcing issues, to the current cloud-based, end-to-end procurement and payment software suites that millions of private enterprises and an increasing amount of governments now enjoy. It will also explore the risks associated with “the cloud”, an industry term for constantly connected online services where data and software are provided off-premises from the purchasing institution. These services often house all of the financial data related to the institution, safeguard it and provide consistent updates throughout the licensing term. However, as an expense, these softwares can be difficult to market to taxpayers, who ultimately pay for software upgrades.

This paper concludes, after analysis of literature, financial data and interviews with key stakeholders in the decision-making process, that these softwares provide significant efficiency gains, but can pose a new form of misunderstood cybersecurity risks. This combination of the “newness” of cloud computing and immense costs stretched over years can make it difficult for governments—especially smaller governments—to convince taxpayers that these system upgrades are worthwhile.