The Future of the Chief Procurement Officer… Is already here

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by | February 6, 2018

Kodiak Rating’s CTO was recently in attendance at a Procurement Leaders event held in London, titled DITx — Data Intelligence and Tech Forum.

As written by Procurement Leaders, “DITx is Europe’s ONLY event specifically designed for procurement professionals wanting to capitalize on a whole new set of opportunities that disrupt yet provide new transformative, value adding capabilities” (Procurement Leaders 2017).

It’s rather procedural that if a member of our team attends an event, they come back and have a debriefing with the rest of the management team. No, we’re not running a military operation here, but there lies unmatched communicative value in after-action reviews.

Ashley, our CTO, summarized the event in a few concise talking points: the focus on disruption of procurement, coming implementation of technologies (such as AI), agility in the workplace and tech-savvy talent.

Hearing the summarization wasn’t much of a shock, but rather an affirmation of the on-going transformation occurring within procurement teams.

As procurement continues to change within its strategies, activities and technologies, the same shift is occurring to the definition of the function. Procurement teams aren’t what they once were, and they probably won’t ever be that traditional ideal again. Ahead of each team lies a fearless captain, a leader of the pack. But, without an acceptance to disrupt and transform from top to bottom, is there even an opportunity to change at all?

CPOs (Chief Procurement Officers) is the function in charge of leading this transformation. Many leaders within the procurement world are ready to realize the change that lies ahead. This much is clear after hearing about the CPOs that praised coming disruptions and transformations within procurement at DITx. This is a new breed of CPO.

This is The Future of the Chief Procurement Officer, and it’s already here.
Technologically Interested

The future of the CPO function, contains procurement officers that have a stronghold on the technology at their disposal.

Take CPO of IBM, Bob Murphy, as an example. He says that in order to complete his role successfully as a CPO, evolving within an ever-changing ecosystem is crucial. “I’m out there looking for ways to keep improving and keep adding value. I spend 25% of my time there speaking with other CPOs, leaders from industry and technology companies, so I can find out how they’re thinking around these challenges and how they’re motivating their teams,” claimed Murphy (Procurement Leaders 2017).

Pooling interest from other procurement leaders is a common methodology for getting ahead of coming trends, by breaking down cross-partisan boundaries.

Current and coming procurement technologies hold the potential to reshape both strategic and operational procurement. For this reason, those two elements landed as number 2 and 3 for ‘technologies to make an impact in the next two years’ according to Deloitte’s 2017 CPO Survey.


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