The single greatest consumer trend today is arguably the digitization of our everyday lives through cloud-based services served up over the internet to our mobile devices. This digitization trend has also worked its way upstream into B2B value chains, where cloud-based digital assets are increasingly wrapping themselves around physical assets and human assets to create new cloud-based services of all forms:
- In the logistics supply chain, new platforms (e.g., Uber and Lyft) are disrupting how transportation assets are used
- In the human value chain, new labor platforms are helping buyers discover and engage contingent workers across many channels
- In the capital intensive asset supply chain, the internet of things (IoT) is developing new sensor-based architectures to intelligently monitor critical assets
- In the financial supply chain, technology such as the blockchain will help create new levels of transparency in the flow of financial information
Business enterprises don’t want themselves to be “digitally disrupted” by others, so they are looking out for new supplier capabilities that they can serve up as new customer-facing services in this “everything as a service” (XaaS) world. This then becomes a defining moment for procurement, supply chain management and IT professionals who need to keep up with their internal stakeholders to become innovation-focused “gate openers” rather than control-focused “gatekeepers” — and do so with the same or less budget!