New Technology Drives E-procurement and Sourcing
Procurement Trends, Source-to-Pay, Sourcing, E-procurement
The hype cycle is always an interesting view of technology and the most recent report from Gartner on procurement and sourcing is no exception. Vendors look to the cycle to imagine what new tech they should be testing to add value to their portfolios and end-customers look to the cycle to determine what innovations are stable vs what new tech might provide competitive advantage.
This year there are 4 innovations which are deemed 'transformational' (within the context of procurement and sourcing):
- AI for procurement
- B2B network intelligence
- Multienterprise grid functionality
- Smart contracts
Putting the 'transformational' stuff aside (it’s 5-10 years out from mainstream adoption), it’s interesting to see that what is seen as 'mainstream' adoption in less than 2 years, is stuff that’s been around for almost ever. e-Invoicing, RPA, CLM, Parts and Materials Search & Selection. It’s a good reminder not to assume all companies have these in place and in fact, our experience in the market does support the fact that while some organizations are highly digital, others simply are not. And it’s highly typical to find organizations with modern finance and medieval procurement processes (as an example).
Analytics continue to be a pretty 'hyped' space for innovation. In the report they discuss changing state where they see more examples of point solutions embedded with analytics - rather than the broad-based approach of more general analytics. This is interesting to us as we see a contrast of broader portfolios (in the industry) and point solution acquisition by customers. We believe the reason for this is an ever increasing interoperability (with lower switching costs) of cloud-based solutions.
The report highlights category management solutions as 'on the rise'. This is surely interesting for direct procurement but we feel for all those companies who only have indirect procurement, this should also be something to watch. A recent OpusCapita customer interview with the Head of Indirect Procurement had him sitting on a billion euro plus budget - that’s a lot of basic categories spread globally, surely a prime place to begin category management centralization and rationalization - all based on captured and analyseable supplier and spend data.
If you’ve read this far it can only mean you are waiting to hear about blockchain for procurement. Yes, it’s discussed - at length and the discussion is really interesting - but we don’t want to give any more spoilers.
Rowan has more than 10 years of experience in the purchase-to-pay arena. During this time, he has managed the go-to-market for a diverse set of portfolios including Accounts Payable Automation, B2B Networks, Financing Services, eProcurement and Product Information Management.
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