Five scenarios for VMS 2025: Scenario 3 — Extended workforce rising [PRO]

Extended workforce platform Adobe Stock

This is Scenario 3 of the Spend Matters PRO series in which we consider different scenarios for VMS in 2025. These scenarios represent exploratory thinking (not predictions) on our part. And they are not necessarily meant to be mutually exclusive. In any case, they are intended to be tools to assist contingent workforce and services procurement managers in their thinking about the future.

The first scenario, named “The Status Quo,” explored a world in which VMS continues to evolve and flourish (alongside other enterprise software solutions, such as human capital management, or HCM) as a distinct, specialized enterprise solution for sourcing of temps and, potentially, other forms of contingent workforce.

This second scenario, named “Procurement Rules,” explored a world in which procure-to-pay (P2P) — or even source-to-pay (S2P) — technology suites integrate or subsume the capabilities of VMS (or vice-versa?). A trendline to this scenario has already emerged. SAP Ariba and Coupa each have embarked on such a path through acquisition, and other procurement solutions could follow, whether by acquisition/integration or as extensions of their own platform.

This post on Scenario 3, “Extended workforce platform rising,” explores a world in which the established VMS procurement-oriented solution model* gives way to an extended workforce solution model. That extended workforce model, among other things, addresses an organization’s needs to manage its extended workforce (all forms of non-employee workforce engaged indirectly under contract through suppliers/providers of services or directly as individual contractors).

* By solution model, we mean a kind of “solution architecture” based on the problems (needs) that organizations/people have now. Solution models, which are therefore generally accepted as “what is needed” in the market and increasingly intertwined with industry assumptions and practices, are also persistent, though gradually evolving over what may be many years. An example of two solution models could be flip phones vs. smartphones.

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