ProcureAbility is pleased to publish its Bold Procurement Predictions for 2030 Insights Series to help Chief Procurement Officers make sense of it all, highlighting the new practices likely to become common by decade’s end including advanced crowdsourcing, procurement technology acceleration, cognitive computing, hyper cybersecurity, and virtual organization design.
In This edition, ProcureAbility continues its ‘Bold Procurement Predictions' Insights Series – the product of extensive research and input from a think tank of experts in the supply chain field – with a look at the rapid technology acceleration expected in the procurement practice by decade’s end. Chief Procurement Officers are already re-evaluating processes, with nearly one in four reporting that digital transformation is a strategic initiative in 2022.1 The majority of mid- to large-size organizations report using e-procurement and e-sourcing software, and we predict use will grow exponentially in the coming years. Artificial intelligence, machine learning (ML), and predictive analytics will replace human efforts for most administrative tasks. These seismic shifts in procurement technology stack will have a significant impact on how teams conduct business. Here are a few of the emerging technologies we expect to gain mainstream acceptance by 2030:
Procurement Teams are Expanding Their Tech Footprint1
30% are using new technologies
25% are making improved use of current technologies
34% are still missing needed technology
Interactive RFx and Purchasing
Extended reality (xR) is a term used to describe a group of immersive technologies including virtual reality (a full environmental simulation) and augmented reality (in which virtual elements are overlaid onto the user's viewpoint). The extended-reality market will triple in value by 2028, according to one estimate.2 Extended Reality Is quickly becoming a useful tool in the Education, Entertainment, Gaming, Industrial Training, Automotive, Construction, and Healthcare industries. Virtual reality is expected to allow bidders the ability to present their proposals and associated materials live during auctions. Virtual delivery will take the place of site inspections, presentations, and even written bids.
3D Prototype Printing
We anticipate that 3D printing will become an industrial staple in the next decade. Proposal submissions will be three-dimensional and fully rendered, rather than being printed on a physical or digital page. Furthermore, these prototypes will have to go through an accelerated review and approval cycle so buyers can provide feedback with quicker turnarounds between prototyping and implementation.
Wearables and Intelligent Assistants
Some consumer technologies will cross over into the professional realm, and the impact will undeniably be felt in procurement circles. Consider the ease with which you order goods from your smart speaker – “Hey, Assistant, order me paper towels!” – and the delivery arrives on your doorstep a few hours later. Apply that same convenience as developers create intelligent assistant apps for corporate procurement needs. Soon, a remote employee will say, “Hey, Assistant, order me a new keyboard for work!” The new hardware from the corporate catalog will arrive, with corporate billing handled on the backend. We predict that wearable devices such as smart watches and smart jewelry, too, have more features available to procurement. Many purchasing processes and status updates will be handled, on demand, with a few words or taps to your wrist.
Machine-Learning Contracting Process
We expect that ML has the potential to replace the often-cumbersome process of cleansing and exchanging vast pools of data, virtually eliminating human error. The power of ML resides in the speed that it can access that information, analyze trends, and forecast future states. By 2030, standard terms and conditions will be controlled and updated by ML is based on algorithms learned from best practices and prior contract negotiations.
Automated Negotiation Systems
We believe that, by decade’s end, negotiation will be automated using real-time data to predict the best tactics. Predictive analytics, fed by data collected from previous decisions, will be leveraged to take human emotion (and error) out of negotiation. Advanced automated negotiation systems will analyze negotiation inputs, incorporate real-time data, pull from past experiences, and then recommend strategies for any given scenario.
IT executives must quickly begin investing in the technologies and systems that will educate their staff for the new standards sure to be widespread within ten years. Test and evaluate the innovative technologies so procurement experts may become familiar with them and how they will fit into an organization. Create an internal culture that encourages testing and adopting innovation. Today's technology implementation that is well-thought out, deliberate, and sensible can lead to a streamlined procurement process by 2030.
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