In our recent Future Technology 2020 report, we uncovered 4 different visions for the future of procurement technology. The results revealed how technology will change the procurement function in these key areas:
- Opening up catalogues
A one dimensional and static catalogue centric market will be replaced by a multi-dimensional, layered approach to buying.
- The use of artificial intelligence
Procurement systems will go beyond informing and processing to predicting, learning and deciding.
- A broader integration of procurement software
There will be no limits to the integration of procurement systems, in terms of what you can integrate them with and what processes, insight and decisions they can drive.
- Procurement software will be used as a commercial tool
Procurement systems will move out of the procurement function and become commercial planning and delivery platforms.
So, what does this mean for procurement and the business as a whole?
Greater connections and better procurement software integration will enable the buyers to search through more than just their local catalogues. Just like consumers have access to price comparison sites, future procurement systems, will be able to scrape prices over the web and even run completely automated tendering processes.
The prospect of automation and better connections may be exciting for many procurement and business professionals, but it also creates a lot of concerns linked to increased risk of hacking attacks, cyber-crime or even non-compliant purchases.
Opening the world of procurement beyond the corporate boundaries can bring many benefits such as cost minimisation, effective and efficient purchasing processes and more. However, it is important to make sure it does not lead to loss of control, which is one of procurement’s main priorities.
Current technology is already allowing businesses to search through Amazon as well as their local catalogues. Additionally, AI is being developed to automatically research and recognise suppliers based on their geographical location and enable buyers to innovate their processes even further.
This report shows technology is already heading in the direction of a more connected and open digital world. So, the next logical question is whether procurement teams will lead the change and harness the benefits? Whilst most vendors, us included, have a clear product roadmap, many software innovations come from bold client-side early adoptors pushing their technology providers to develop new functionality. Based on past experience, I’m sure in the coming months and years we’ll see many of the themes in our 4 visions come to life through the conversations we regularly have with our client on how to push the envelope to make new ideas come to life.
So, why wait? Speak to us today and find out how we can help you.