This post references material from the Compass series report: Overcoming Challenges of Project- and SOW-based Solution Adoption. This paper is available in the Spend Matters Research Library and is free to qualified practitioners.
In looking beyond the state of SOW interest within RFPs, procurement organizations are keen to learn the potential of what SOW solutions can deliver. A combination of analyst firms, consultants, software companies and MSPs are providing an invaluable service by educating the market around the afterlife of what SOW enablement can provide.
For many companies getting started or building an information base with SOW, it is clear that visibility and compliance into worker tracking is often the first interest area on a broader company basis (individual category managers within procurement may be concerned primarily with savings, but will often tie their specific programs to sourcing strategies first rather than broader SOW automation).
It's also clear that certain industries are adopting SOW programs faster than others. For example, within financial services, industry-specific regulations and the need for tighter risk management controls are driving firms to roll out SOW programs quicker than other verticals after getting started (yet adoption is still far from 100%). Adoption, in general, whether by industry or even on a more fractal level inside companies, is rising.
As one recent survey respondent put it to us: "critical mass is on the horizon." Companies are also tackling SOW programs more quickly in many VMS rollout situations, "often in the first or second year of a program," according to one provider we spoke with. One additional factor that some organizations believe is speeding adoption is a general willingness to invest the time to learn "what we don't know."