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Digitalisation Tops CPO Agendas

Procurement organisations continue to evolve from a clerical back office function to a strategic business function that orchestrates supply networks, drives innovation and growth, aligns business operations with companies’ ethical and social values, and manages risk, even as markets and technologies continuously change. And, according to chief procurement officers (CPOs) globally, digitalisation in procurement will accelerate in 2019. According to the results of a new global CPO survey – conducted by the University of Mannheim in collaboration with SAP Ariba in early 2019 – digital transformation in procurement organisations is set to happen even faster in the year ahead.

“Digitalisation is on every CPO’s agenda, but there is still a lot of potential to be realised,” said Prof. Dr. Christoph Bode, head of University of Mannheim’s Endowed Chair of Procurement and principal investigator of the study. To explore the trends and challenges that are shaping the future of emerging technologies and understand how digital innovation is shaping the future of procurement, researchers Christoph Bode and Jan Gruenen teamed up with SAP Ariba to conduct a large-scale survey of more than 460 procurement and operational leaders globally.

Key findings of the empirical study include:

  • 84% of the respondents consider digitalisation important to improve procurement performance.
  • 28% of participants rated their digital maturity better than that of their competitors.
  • The adoption of mature digital solutions is moderate with 65% of respondents leveraging cloud solutions.
  • Primary objectives for digitalisation projects are often clear: automating processes, improving data quality, achieving cost savings and improving compliance.

“Despite the roadblocks – budget restrictions, lack of analytics and data insights and talent shortage – procurement leaders understand the urgency and importance of digitalisation,” said Dr. Marcell Vollmer, chief digital officer, SAP Ariba & SAP Fieldglass. “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.”

For a summary of the survey’s findings, visit the SAP Ariba Resource Library or find them on the University of Mannheim website.

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