As we stand at the cusp of a new decade, the procurement industry is rapidly evolving with a vast array of technological solutions aimed at streamlining processes within organizations. The abundance of tools and services available to Chief Procurement Officers may seem overwhelming, but the procurement field is actively embracing innovation and change. Those who fail to adapt risk being left behind in this transformative era. To better understand and navigate these developments, ProcureAbility is delighted to present its ‘Bold Procurement Predictions for 2030’ Insights series, providing insight into the new practices that are likely to become prevalent by 2030.
ProcureAbility’s approach to developing its predictions took some effort and coordination. ProcureAbility assembled a team of experts to work the problem, develop hypotheses, and offer thoughtful insights on emerging trends. They examined where the field is and where it is going, in the near-term and in the next decade. ProcureAbility tested each hypothesis using qualitative and quantitative methods. They accepted input from an array of respected professionals in the procurement space.
ProcureAbility assembled a working team of experts from a variety of industries and specialties in the supply chain field to provide perspective and input.
Based on observation of the current state of the field and emerging trends, the team hypothesized what the future state of procurement might look like in coming years.
The team conducted in-depth qualitative and quantitative research to validate their hypotheses.
Once the team had a data pool of significant size, they examined the information and drew reasonable conclusions that became the raw ‘bold predictions’ for the future of procurement.
With a working set of predictions in hand, the team surveyed respected Chief Procurement Officers to validate (or invalidate) the predictions and rank them by degree of “boldness.”
Ideating New Procurement Practices
During the formation of the ‘Bold Procurement Predictions for 2030 Insights Series,’ ProcureAbility was very much focused on procurement teams’ maturity levels for accepting new practices and emerging trends. It quickly became clear that procurement organizations are all over the map in terms of the new processes and technologies adopted. Some are still mired in their core practices, while a small group of innovators are ideating new ways to leverage supply chain technology. The focus of ProcureAbility’s effort was at the very top of the pyramid below: ideation.
Maturity Levels for New Procurement Practices
Ideation: Concepts in early development, such as procurement AI. May become core practices by 2030.
Emerging ideas: Gaining adoption, but not yet widely embraced (for example, agile procurement, blockchain, robotic process automation and crowdsourcing).
Maturing ideas: Widely adopted, but only recently. Includes progressive strategies like advanced analytics and category management.
Core practices: Adopted by most companies (for example, business process outsourcing and group purchasing).
In this Insights series, ProcureAbility explores five emerging trends that procurement organizations can expect to shift from the top of that pyramid to the bottom – concepts that may seem far-fetched today, but will become standard accepted practice by 2030:
Advanced crowdsourcing: People and businesses are more connected than ever before (at least virtually). The Internet and social media have enabled ‘crowdsourcing,’ a means for collective mobilization behind common goals. Crowdsourcing helps leaders seek innovative ideas from a global group of individuals with varying skills and CPOs are beginning to understand how opening the RFx process to wider audiences will revolutionize the field.
Procurement technology acceleration: Nearly one in four CPOs report that digital transformation is a strategic initiative this year. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and predictive analytics will replace human efforts for many administrative tasks. These seismic shifts in the procurement technology stack will have significant consequences for how teams conduct business.
Cognitive computing: By 2030, thanks to cognitive computing (systems that mimic how the human brain processes information), strategic sourcing will take a fraction of the time. Nearly every aspect of sourcing will utilize some form of machine learning or robotic processing automation.
Hyper cybersecurity: Cyber attacks frequently originate from outside the company’s firewall. Many breaches are due to inadequate protections when allowing vendors and third parties access to the network. That places the onus for (at least part of) data security efforts squarely on the Chief Procurement Officer. By 2030, procurement professionals will need to be data security experts.
Virtual organizational design: Automation and the emergence of the gig economy will shift the industry to a highly flexible, more decentralized model. By decade’s end, the procurement organization may be unrecognizable.
ProcureAbility will explore these exciting new trends and more in upcoming issues. We hope you will gain valuable insights into what your professional future might hold, and how you can prepare for it today.
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(Image credit: Getty Images/Daria Yen)