Procurement Disruption is Upon Us: Spend Matters 50 to Know, 50 to Watch 2016

disruption freshidea/Adobe Stock

Procurement technology disruption is here. And next week, we have no doubt that when we publish the Spend Matters 50 Providers to Know and 50 Providers to Watch list, some eyebrows will be raised.

But one thing is clear from the list: The vast majority of those who made the Spend Matters 50/50 in 2016 offer some type of procurement technology to customers — even if they configure or provision it rather than develop it internally or sell it directly. This even goes for many of the consultancy and services firms on the list, who are increasingly developing applications, preconfigured apps (both their own and on top of other technologies) and managed services, using technology rather than billable hours as the basis for delivering value in their offerings.

Procurement can’t be a slave to old procurement technology practices — or solutions for that matter. Change is coming fast and furious, but it’s also coming from established and incumbent providers. Some of the oldest names in procurement solutions, such as Accenture, SAP (including Ariba, Fieldglass and Concur) and IBM (yes IBM — not a misprint!) are driving new areas of innovation in the sector. The SAP and IBM comments will no doubt surprise some, but trust us, even giants can be disruptive.

A lot of the disruption in the procurement marketplace is coming from the bottom up. And not just technology is driving this — it’s new business models and sources of supply. On the 50/50 list this year are providers that represent a number of areas that we’re sure a lot of procurement organizations aren’t yet paying enough attention to. These include:

  • Technology building blocks (e.g., blockchain)
  • Managed services
  • B2B connectivity
  • Industrial distribution and marketplaces
  • Master data management
  • Receivables and payables financing (financial supply chain)
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Analytics
  • New labor sources (e.g., freelancers, independent contractors and “gig workers”)
  • Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and “app” models

The Spend Matters 50/50 is the culmination of thousands of hours of research throughout the past year, including some last-minute additions that wowed us in recent discussions, demonstrations or customer calls. Every single provider that made the cut had to be defended and argued for (and against) by our core analyst team.

Which new providers will you learn about next week at ISM2016? And which established ones will surprise you?

Stay tuned as we publish (and explore) the 2016 Spend Matters 50/50 list starting next week.

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