Should There be a Chief Procurement Information Officer (CPIO) or Chief Supply Chain Information Officer (CSCIO)?

alphaspirit/Adobe Stock

If you do an exact web search on the terms in the title, you will get zero results. Zero. If you do a similar exact search on “chief medical information officer” (CMIO), however, you will get more than 100,000 results.

A CMIO is basically the senior-most technology person responsible for supporting the healthcare value chain (i.e., “continuum of care”) within healthcare service delivery networks. These executives focus on areas such as informatics and electronic medical records systems, while the CIO runs the hospital operations and back-office systems. The CMIO also tends to represent the voice of the healthcare practitioners rather than the build, fix and operate folks in traditional IT. The CMIO often leads large transformation efforts that involve IT, as well.

Now, let’s talk about supply chains. There are two major interrelated trends happening right now in business: digitization and externalization. Of course, we have “chief digital officers” that are serving in this digital transformation work. But what about externalization of supply chains and the supporting business services, especially since those value chains are becoming increasingly digital value networks? This is where procurement and supply chain have a massive opportunity to tap increasingly digital supply markets for strategic advantage rather than just “doing deals and paying bills.”

Finally, since procurement and supply chain organizations are becoming “procurement as a service” (PRaaS) providers that need some level of autonomy to construct the world-class services that support the business, there needs to be an effective operating model between IT and procurement, right? Yet you are not likely to see a CPIO or CSCIO anytime soon, because IT would see that as procurement “going rogue,” even though IT organizations are often rogue on their side — for example, by running siloed vendor management offices (VMOs) that are not effectively dovetailing into procurement-led strategic supplier management.

What is clear, though, is that procurement needs to have a senior-most technology responsible person who squares off with an IT counterpart but is also tasked with basically running a procurement center of excellence (CoE) on the “I” and “T” in IT. These folks are my favorite “peeps” to talk to and to serve as clients — and CPOs are increasingly relying on them to help power the new strategic PRaaS model. This is out of necessity given the greatly expanded procurement “service catalog”, but not greatly expanded budget.

But, does it matter? Yes, it matters. Procurement (or supply chain) having this role, even if it’s not an “officer” title, critical to improved performance. And in fact, it is just one of many capabilities/practices that I will discuss on a webcast we are hosting with the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) next week (registration here) based on some research that we did last year on IT and procurement alignment.

The webcast will dive into how well IT and procurement support each other individually, but also how they collaborate collectively (or not) to serve the business. We’ll look at the resultant impact, as well as some of the key barriers and countermeasures.

So, what do you think about the CPIO role (not job title) and how it’s increasingly becoming prevalent and dovetailed into the CPO role itself? Personally, I’m finding that the newer class of entrepreneurial CPOs are much more tech savvy, and also that the most effective CPOs are either partnering with similarly strong CIOs or have the organizational leeway to pick the capabilities they need to be successful rather than just making IT happy.

What do you think? What are you seeing? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Share on Procurious

Voices (2)

  1. CPIO:

    CPIO is a title already in use (Chief Pharmacy Informatics Officer)

  2. Steve Ighorimoto:

    IT/ICT play a pivotal role in today ‘s procurement organizations. Procurement Administration Officers in matured organizations in reality perform the role of Procurement information officer.This back office activities include but not limited to data management and sharing, contracts drafting, bids submission monitoring, interface with other functions in procure to pay process to mention but a few. In “connect & pay businesses procurement information officer will also be of great value to the supply chain organization.

Discuss this:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.