In the first part of their study*, Michael Page and Procurious reveal the prospects, opportunities and threats facing the procurement profession between now and 2030. In the second part, they highlight the need for purchasing departments to prepare for the digital revolution.
Purchasing in 2030: What strategy?
No fewer than 43% of respondents revealed that they had no formal strategy for their digital transformation. For many of them, it seems that digital transformation is not a priority for their company.
To change this, the authors of the study recommend various approaches to convince management teams to begin digitally transforming the profession. These include carrying out a case study based on market leaders, aligning each stage with the company's objectives, identifying an influential advocate for transformation within the company and most importantly, taking risks and defending your ideas.
For the 38% who are currently working on formalising a strategy, it is important to focus on how the transformation is implemented within the company and to identify which technologies can benefit the entire company beyond the purchasing department.
Procurement in 2030: What roadmap?
In order for digital transformation strategies to be a success, procurement functions must prioritise the technologies to be implemented. It looks like professionals will be prioritising data analysis (46%) and cloud computing (44%) over the next two years, due to the fact that they have been identified as two of the least problematic technologies to introduce.
Artificial and cognitive intelligence pose a major challenge for professionals. These technologies are perceived as not only being the most difficult technologies to implement, but also the ones, which will have the greatest impact on the profession. Technologies relating to data analysis, cloud computing and the Internet of Things will also have a major role to play.
Three criteria’s will need to be taken into account when drawing up a roadmap:
- Which technologies need to be implemented first?
- Which ones will be benefit the company most as a whole?
- Which ones will provide the best return on investment?
Purchasing in 2030: What talent?
Only 38% of respondents believe that their colleagues are able to handle the challenges of Industry 4.0. Digital skills are going to be increasingly in demand, as are certain "soft skills" such as adapting to change and taking an agile and flexible approach.
To anticipate these needs, it is imperative that procurement officers keep inline of changes in the profession. Everyone has his or her own way of going about this:
- 69% read studies and articles
- 64% attend events and conferences
- 61% use e-learning tools and social networks
- 29% opt for face-to-face training
- 20% consult advisors and experts
Professionals should apply a combination of all of these approaches to prepare for any future changes and make good career decisions.
*Study involving 590 professionals