CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
Procurement
November 13, 2019
Forward Thinking

Digital transformation highlights talent crunch

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Procurement organizations must transform and "reskill" existing staff to meet the demands of a digital business services environment, study says.

Procurement organizations must focus on reskilling existing staff if they want to excel in the digital economy, according to a recent study from The Hackett Group.

The researcher's 2019 Key Issues Study surveyed executives from finance, human resources, information technology, procurement, and global business services, and found that 85 percent list digital transformation strategies as "high" or "critical" priorities this year. In light of those priorities and the growing global talent gap, researchers said organizations can't just rely on acquiring those skills, but must also invest in "reskilling" existing staff to handle new responsibilities. New skill areas include "working in agile ways, programming robots and managing a virtual workforce, integrating and analyzing data, and measuring and improving processes," according to the study.

Developing new skills is especially important in the procurement department, the study authors said, where executives expect "significantly higher" adoption of robotic processes, advanced analytics, and data visualization over the next few years. Although just 32 percent of procurement executives said digital transformation is having a "high impact" on department roles and skills today, more than half said it will have a considerable impact in the next two to three years.

"Procurement teams will shape and navigate tremendous change as roles that involve primarily transactional work are automated through digital transformation and evolve to incorporate more emphasis on knowledge-based and analytical work," the study authors said.

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