2020 Procurement Predicaments and Predictions — The Big Picture (Series Wrap-Up Part 2) [PRO]

In Part 1 of this finale for our 2020 “Predicaments and Predictions” series, we summarized the problems and our outlook for various procurement areas, such as: Sourcing, Supplier Management, Contract Lifecycle Management, Procure-to-Pay, Contingent Workforce/Services Procurement, and Analytics.

In this installment, we’ll address a broader and overarching predicament that affects all of these areas, namely:

How can procurement organizations meet short-term S2P automation needs (via current-generation S2P apps), but support broader enterprise digital transformation requirements that are better suited to next-generation digital platforms (and underlying platform elements) that progressive CIOs and chief digital officers are beginning to adopt?

Remember that while developing our 2020 predictions, we had a guiding principle that our predictions would be grounded in practitioner predicaments that needed solving, which in turn would generally drive the solution/service provider market (unless there was no money to be made in that area — which we’ll touch on later).

In terms of practitioner requirements, the following predicaments/pain points continue to plague most procurement organizations:

* Gaining timely and accurate insights into spending, contracts, costs, suppliers and markets
* Engaging stakeholders early and deeply to help them get more value from their spend and suppliers — and adopting their best practices and tools
* Demonstrating procurement value beyond purchased cost reductions on a continual process (i.e., the impossibility of “saving yourself to zero”) — and beyond the usual sourcing processes that help drive them
* Helping protect the enterprise from supply risks in the value chain
* Aligning with functional stakeholders like Finance, IT, HR, Sales/Marketing, Legal, GRC, and other groups to not just help them manage their spend, but also support their broader initiatives and also align with them on capabilities (and tools) beyond the buy-side involving contract management, working capital, budgeting, risk management, Lean/Six Sigma, innovation, “variabilization” (e.g., using a contingent workforce and service providers), etc. And these programs might also sit in a Center of Excellence and/or Shared Services organization.

Obviously, the first three items are squarely in the wheelhouse of S2P applications, but as the net widens toward supporting broader enterprise requirements, procurement organizations are less digitally savvy. So, we’ll highlight how those emerging requirements are creating gaps, how organizations are responding, and where the market is moving.

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