Procurement same-old same-old?

“Alexa, what will be the main procurement trends in 2020 …”

Well this would certainly be one way of getting insight into a commonly sought question at the start of every year!  But although Alexa is useful in many ways, it is not The Oracle. So we have to make some well-informed, educated guesses when it comes to the next 12 months. These are based on procurement trends that have been and gone, and the ‘Procurement Journey’ which has seen procurement shift from being solely a cost saving vehicle to that which is more added-value.

Recent conversations with Procurement professionals lead us to believe that 2020 trends will mainly be drawn from what 2019, namely;

  • Cloud-Based Technologies and IoT
  • Cyber Security
  • Big Data Analytics
  • Blockchain
  • The importance of creating value over just generating savings

This leads us to conclude that the Procurement space is unlikely to change dramatically during 2020. Yes, the advancement of procurement technologies will keep things moving forward, and yes, there will be a focus on ROI and value creation with minimum waste and expense. Looking ahead, some analysts are offering roadmaps outlining how they see the future of procurement. An example of this would be Gartner, who have said that by 2022 50% of legacy spend analysis and procurement solutions will be replaced by AI-driven, cloud-based purchasing software and 75% of all B2B one-off spend (i.e. “tail spend”) will be made in online marketplaces such as Amazon! Personally, I think one of the biggest topics within and across procurement is that of sustainability, especially in light of recent environmental concerns, human rights issues and global social awareness. It is the prioritisation of products and services that do minimal damage to the environment and to humans in general and the sourcing of their constituent parts that will still be one of the top priorities for procurement leaders in the coming year, and beyond.

But let’s ask Alexa again in 2021 to list the top procurement trends in 2020 and see how we fared …

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