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April 03, 2020
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Digitalization in procurement to accelerate in 2019

Survey shows 84 percent of CPOs consider digitalization important for improving procurement performance.

The procurement function continues to go digital, a trend that will accelerate in 2019, according to the annual Chief Procurement Officer survey from SAP Ariba and the University of Mannheim in Germany, released earlier this month.

The global study of more than 460 chief procurement officers showed that 84 percent of CPOs consider digitalization important for improving the procurement function and that many organizations are focused on automating processes and improving data quality as they implement digital strategies. Other findings include:

  • 28 percent of participants rated their digital maturity better than that of their competitors;
  • The adoption of mature digital solutions is moderate, with 65 percent of respondents saying they leverage cloud solutions;
  • The adoption of emerging technologies, however, is low-less than 15% of respondents currently leverage machine learning, 3D printing, or prescriptive analytic solutions.
  • Top goals for digitalization projects include automating processes, improving data quality, achieving cost savings, and improving compliance;
  • Budget restrictions, analytics/data insights, and a talent shortage are the largest roadblocks for procurement function performance.

The study authors say the results indicate that CPOs understand the urgency of digitalization and its importance in helping the procurement function transform into a strategic business function.

"Despite the roadblocks-budget restrictions, lack of analytics and data insights, and talent shortage-procurement leaders understand the urgency and importance of digitalization," Dr. Marcell Vollmer, chief digital officer, SAP Ariba & SAP Fieldglass, said in a statement announcing the survey results. "And it will be important for them to continue to look for ways to bring intelligence to spend management, evaluating new and emerging technologies and embracing innovations to elevate procurement's role in driving revenue and innovation and not just cost savings."

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