Closing The Digital Acceleration Gap In Procurement

digital procurement

In what will be the first of several articles on the 2022 SIG Procurement Technology Summit Keynote Series, I will share with you the insights from each session, starting with today's post on my discussion with Shashank Saxena, General Manager for VNDLY - A Workday Company.

In the session - aptly titled "Closing The Digital Acceleration Gap In Procurement," Shashank and I talk about the disruptive approaches and new innovations that will reshape how procurement leaders can satisfy their most pressing strategic imperatives.

A little background information is in order before getting into the above specifics.

The New Digital Imperative

"Everyone wants to do digital transformation – think of all the board level priorities you have this is probably the most and biggest."

The above words by Shashank resonated with me on many levels.

They are a reminder of how far we have come over the past few years and how we still have a way to go before we achieve or realize the full potential of the digital promise.

What do I mean when I say "the full potential" of the digital promise?

A December 2019 Forbes article reported that "70% of companies either have a digital transformation strategy in place or are working on one." However, recognizing the importance of having a digital strategy is not the same as realizing the anticipated return as "only 7% of companies have fully implemented their digital transformations." As you can see, there is a notable difference between having a strategy and the ability to implement it successfully, and it is quite a gap to bridge.

Fast forward to the post-pandemic world of March 2021 and an article by Shashank's company, Workday, that talks about how companies need to transition from a digital transformation planning mindset to a digital imperative sense of urgency. There is even the belief that digital transformation – now acceleration, is "critical for business survival."

While the report to which the Workday article refers presents some promising numbers regarding digital progress, there is still a great deal of work to do to move the transformation needle to the accelerator position.

The question is simple: how do you accelerate your digital strategy, and where do you start?

Talent Imperatives

Referring to data that his company gathered, Shashank reported that 52% of the group of executives interviewed by Workday indicate that they are completely behind the digital transformation curve.

In determining the "number one reason that is causing these organizations to fall behind," 38% of executives pointed to a skills gap and the belief that their people only "know how to do business in an older way."

As you dig deeper into the research, 68% said they are "actually losing traction on the digital divide."

Regardless of the industry, organizations continue to struggle in their efforts to "make-up digital ground" with next-gen, modern digital competitors.

How do you reverse that course and make-up ground?

Think of digital transformation as a roadmap broken down into three buckets:  tactics – which you can do today; strategy – your 3-to-5-year plan; and Nirvana – where everything is fully automated.

How do we get from where we are today to the point of Nirvana – a point in which very few have arrived?

<< SIG Members: Download the complete slide deck from this panel session in the SIG Resource Center >>

Dawn Tiura, President and CEO, SIG

Dawn Tiura, CEO and President of SIG, SIG University and Future of Sourcing Digital Publication, has over 26 years leadership experience, with the past 22 years focused on the sourcing and outsourcing industry. In 2007, Dawn joined SIG as CEO, but has been active in SIG as a speaker and trusted advisor since 1999, bringing the latest developments in sourcing and outsourcing to SIG members. Prior to joining SIG, Dawn held leadership positions as CEO of Denali Group and before that as a partner in a CPA firm. Dawn is actively involved on a number of boards promoting civic, health and children's issues in the Jacksonville, Florida area. Dawn is a licensed CPA and has a BA from the University of Michigan and an MS in taxation from Golden Gate University. Dawn brings to SIG a culture of brainstorming and internal innovation.