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New Year Insights for the procurement solutions and services marketplace 2024: SAP

01/25/2024 By

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For several years now, Spend Matters has been collecting and publishing a series of articles about procurement, supply and services trends for the year ahead from expert tech and service providers in the market.

This year we’re highlighting the customer demands, market movements and advances in procurement tech that are exciting the world of solution providers, how they expect them to shape the S2P landscape next year and how they plan to respond to them.

Our series runs from mid-December to end-January, then our senior analysts will wrap up with their own take on the key themes that emerge.

In no order of preference, other than by the date they arrived in our inbox, today let’s hear from enterprise intelligence software specialist SAP, one of Spend Matters 50 Procurement Providers to Know.

Looking beyond the GenAI bolt of lightning

In 2023, generative AI was like a bolt of lightning that compelled every business and technology leader to sit up and take notice. We’re no longer asking if businesses will adopt AI technology, but rather how quickly they can deploy it and realize its benefits. In 2024, business leaders will look beyond the industry buzz for solutions that deliver real-life, AI-based use cases. They’ll also see first-hand that AI is only as effective as the quality and availability of data. With the huge number of data and transactions running through our systems and business network, SAP is uniquely positioned to help organizations access the data they need, visualize it and take decisive action to drive their success.

Muhammad Alam, President and Chief Product Officer, SAP Intelligent Spend and Business Network, and General Manager for SAP Business Network

Procurement will lead broader supply chain risk management

As we enter 2024, procurement organizations will continue to focus on cost containment and supply continuity in order to bring value to their businesses. These have traditionally been the primary value drivers and, in today’s economic environment, I see this continuing. The opportunity will be maintaining the expanded voice earned with stakeholders during the volatile, crisis-riddled past few years, given the resurgence of hyper focus on cost containment. I believe that the scope of procurement will not contract back to a sole focus on supply stability and cost containment. In fact, I think procurement’s remit will continue to evolve to lead broader supply chain risk management, given the growing variety and number of risks faced such as geopolitical tensions, sustainability expectations, the need for more diverse sources of supply, and lingering labor availability concerns. The challenge facing procurement will be how to tackle all of this successfully. What we’ll see is the use of innovation like generative AI, spend analysis, and category management solutions not only to provide relevant, real-time business insights, but, importantly, to increase the efficiency and productivity of procurement teams, giving more capacity to focus on the strategic work stakeholders now expect.

Etosha Thurman, Chief Marketing and Solutions Officer, Intelligent Spend and Business Network, SAP

The need for an even more intuitive user experience will increase

As enterprises continue on their journey to digitalize procurement processes, the need for an even more intuitive user experience will increase. Procurement professionals are looking for ways to spend more time on value adding tasks and are looking to generative AI and analytics to support them at the point of decision. Moving into 2024 and beyond, we expect the demand for these technologies to increase, as well as for new use cases to arise. At SAP, we are already evaluating further ways to embed generative AI and analytics into solutions throughout our SAP Ariba portfolio to help make our customers’ business lives easier than ever.

Salvatore Lombardo, SVP, Chief Product Officer, SAP Ariba Procurement Solutions, SA.

Many thanks to SAP for being a part of the series.

Read our senior analyst’s take on the key themes from the series here.

Access Spend Matters dedicated ‘Artificial Intelligence in Procurement’ page for more AI insights.

If you need to find the right procurement technology provider or service for your business needs next year, try Spend Matters TechMatch for a free rapid shortlist.

For granular analysis and comparisons of procurement technology solutions, subscribe to Spend Matters Insider.

As always, reach out to discover how Spend Matters can help with your new year commitments and wishes.

Insights 2024