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CRO-to-CRO Video Series: 2 Veteran Chief Research Officers Dig into Digital Procurement Transformation

04/15/2019 By

What happens when two chief research officers of two esteemed research firms sit down together for a video series chat?

The viewer is in for a treat — an insightful series of video discussions on digital procurement transformation and the state of procurement overall.

Recently, our own Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer of Spend Matters, had a chance to sit down with his old friend and former colleague Michel Janssen, chief research guru of Everest Group, a research and management consulting firm based in Dallas, Texas.

With a combined six decades of experience between them (the “dinosaurs that we are!” as Mitchell puts it), both CROs are able to view various market trends from a unique perch. The goal of the video discussion series is to drill down into “the who, the what and the how” behind the hottest trends in digital procurement transformation.

The CRO-to-CRO Video Series Overview

Looking more broadly at the arc of the whole series, Mitchell and Janssen set out to cover:

  • Introducing the digital transformation ecosystem. What are the biggest investment priorities for service providers and enterprises?
  • Examining the changing role of procurement. The role itself is changing and expanding; what does that mean to procurement’s value creation — and impact to risk? What are the three key dimensions of digital procurement trends?
  • Exploring the different layers of digital capability platforms. What is available to buy? What are the different ways to bundle/procure digital solutions? Who is responsible for making the digital decisions within the enterprise?
  • Focusing on Contingent Workforce Management as a category example. What are the key challenges to effective talent management? Is there a need to rethink the approach to the entire talent model?
  • Concluding with how they can help organizations in their digital transformation journey.

Episode 1: How Digital Transformation is Disrupting Investment Priorities


“The place I always like to start is, ‘What’s happening in real life?’ ” Janssen said.

Both CROs kick off the series with a look at recent changes in the mix of the digital deals being made. Whereas a few years ago there was a clear focus on labor arbitrage in large services outsourcing projects, right now, the trend leans toward smaller, more digital services deals.

“There’s a focus on a different set of value propositions,” Janssen said.

Then Mitchell and Janssen shift gears to show how the buying patterns are changing. The CROs found that, from the viewpoint of both enterprises and service providers, people with the title of “chief digital officer” are gaining more budget influence than other buying centers within businesses.

As for the biggest investments those members of the C-suite are making? Both service providers and enterprises are prioritizing big data, automation (RPA) and cloud solutions most highly in their 2019 investment plans.

For the full discussion, insight and commentary, watch Episode 1 above, or on Everest Group’s YouTube channel here.