Take Your Seat: Based On IDC Predictions Now Is Time For Procurement To Step Up To The Plate

Posted on February 12, 2019


Digital Transformation.

Everyone’s talking about it, but according to a McKinsey Survey of 1,600 companies around the globe, only 23 percent of the executives who responded to their survey have a digital strategy in place.

From a procurement standpoint, just 2 percent of those companies have a strategy regarding a digital supply chain. Where is the disconnect, and how do you bridge the divide between digital concept and digital realization?

To start and referring to a Gartner report indicating that CMOs will be spending more money than CIOs on technology, procurement professionals must recognize that digital transformation is no longer solely an IT department undertaking. This shift in redistributed responsibility is reflected in the IDC direction that “Digital thinking” must be an integral part of every business leader’s skill set — not delegated to the organization’s IT leadership.

In short, and like CMO’s, CPOs must take the lead in transforming their organization’s procurement practice.

Take Your Seat!

Digitization is not “confined”: to just one part of the enterprise (like customer-facing functions or online commerce organizations); it is transforming major aspects of enterprises’ offerings, operations, and relationships. With such a pervasive business impact, isolated oversight by a single executive (e.g., a chief digital officer) is unsustainable. – IDC FutureScape: Worldwide IT Industry 2019 Predictions

I entered the high tech industry in 1983 – 36 years ago and not too long afterward the procurement world.

Over the years, I have been witness to some amazing technological breakthroughs and industry trends that have reshaped not just the business world, but our everyday lives.

However, and like the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, what has not changed is the procurement professional’s lament that they did not have a seat at the executive table.

My take away from the IDC study is that we have to stop asking and sit down and take our seat.

To do this, we must expand our idea as to what procurement is all about to include a better understanding of the critical touchpoints both within and external to our organizations and our influence on them. In other words, we have to drive the digital transformation of our supply chain in much the same way that CMO’s are taking the digital lead regarding customer touchpoints.

To do this, we need to become well versed in not only the possibilities associated with digital transformation but the specific tools that are available to us from the ground to the cloud and even more important to the edge.

In this context, all procurement professionals would be wise to remember the words of Walt Disney:  “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”


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