4 key digital technologies which are going to play a central part in changing the face of procurement in the years to come:
- Cloud Computing: This will lead to increasing usability, provision of more content which the organization can use to facilitate the core procurement activities. As procurement continues to move the benchmarks in terms of business processes and efficiency – the cloud will play an even bigger role. Cloud will help procurement to capture much more data, better analyze it and utilize it while being more responsive and cost effective. Cloud Computing will also play a key role in making employees more engaged and productive in the office.
- Real time Analytics: This will enable the procurement executives to respond more quickly to different conditions and allow for localized decision making when it comes to variable needs. Analytics is important during any stage of procurement transformation. Insights can be gained even in the absence of perfect data or systems.
- Internet of Things: Those who can afford to upgrade their systems to accommodate the Internet of Things stand to automate their processes and gain greater bandwidth, in turn, allowing them to become more strategic in their approach. It allows companies to generate deeper and more valuable insights that can greatly enhance the decision making as well as identify the potential issues and migration strategies.
- Cognitive Systems: They serve as digital agents integrated into procurement, handling not just transactional activities but also more strategic pursuits.
Procurement is poised to undergo a fundamental shift in the next 5-7 years, both in how it is organized as well as how it interacts with the business and virtually integrated enterprise. In the future, procurement will be evaluated by measures which are more advanced, measures which are increasingly linked to a company’s strategy and financial metrics. The “5 Apps” that will be required for procurement to be successful in the future include the following:
- Virtual Company Mall: This will include a service desk that will direct customers to the right shops and provides spot-services as required. These services will be enabled by a mix of digital disruptors. It will provide for the core of a firm’s shopping and tactical buying experience – i.e. how do frontline users and even procurement shop for and purchase goods and services.
- Supply Analytics: This will enable procurement to interpret analytics to solve specific problems or answer questions. Supply Analytics will mature up to a point where they can recommend decisions and opportunities for procurement to capitalize on. Supply chain analytics promise savings for procurement. However, spending data can be scattered around the organization.
- Virtual Supplier Room: This will enable the company to virtually interact with strategic suppliers to share insights and ideas, as well as collaborate on innovation programs via popular social media methods. It is a virtual central gathering place where a company’s category managers will go to keep track of their in-flight projects based on where they are in the process by category. Because the virtual category room is powered by social media, it is context driven.
- Supplier Network: This connects a company seamlessly with the supply market. Powered by technology solutions supporting tendering, performance assessment, supplier discovery and supplier interaction, this app is connected with both the Virtual Supplier Room and Virtual Category Room. Organizations using supplier networks are able to increase spend under management, lower costs related to poor supplier performance and achieve higher rates of supplier compliance.
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