This guest blog comes from our Beyond the Bolt Webinar host, Jon Hansen. As the Editor and lead writer for the Procurement Insights Blog, Jon Hansen has written nearly 3,000 articles and papers; as well as five books on subjects as diverse as supply chain practice, public sector policy, emerging business trends and social media. In addition to being a much sought-after speaker and moderator internationally, Jon is also the host of the highly acclaimed PI Window on The World Show on Blog Talk Radio, which has aired more than 800 episodes.
I entered the high-tech world in 1983 when the Kaypro was a top seller, and CP/M was the operating system of choice.
If you don’t remember these that’s okay, it was a very long time ago – even longer from a technology standpoint.
Over the last 36 years, I have seen the transformation from megabytes to zettabytes, from luggable PC’s – my right arm is still slightly longer than my left from carrying a Compaq “portable” computer, to on the edge handheld devices. In all this time I think it would be safe to say that technology has transformed people. More specifically it has changed the way that we live and work.
In the early days of ERP-based eProcurement solutions, purchasing professionals were often forced to change the way they did things. Sometimes for the better, but and as demonstrated by problems such has maverick spend, usually for the worse.
Of course, challenges with compliance were not due to the introduction of technology alone. Often the disconnect was caused by purchasing’s exclusion from the solution selection process. Specifically, overseeing the assessment and implementation of new technology was the responsibility of the CFO and CIO and their respective departments.
It was not until after the fact that purchasing came into the picture, and only then to be told” here is the new platform, here are the rules, now it is up to you to make it work.”
My point here is that non-procurement people selected technology that dictated how buyers would buy.
Webinar Surprise Number 1: According to a poll taken during the webinar, the role of the CIO in selecting an organization’s current procurement platform is to a certain degree minimal and by comparison to the past virtually non-existent.
Suffice to say, with the CIO’s diminishing role which I think it important to point out is not limited to the procurement world – which I will explain shortly, technology is no longer defining the way we do business the way it did in the sheep following the Sheppard ERP era. For example, one of the more recent reports from Gartner on the topic of IT expenditure indicates that CMOs will spend more on IT than CIOs in the next couple of years as they take the lead on implementing customer touchpoint digital apps.
What was even more surprising is that during a series of interviews I did with some of Canada’s top IT industry executives at the #ActivateDigital2019 Conference in Toronto, the CIO for a growing municipality indicated that he was not even involved with the launch of the country’s first “Smart” hospital.
While neither of these revelations suggests that the CIO is an endangered species, it does indicate that as digital computing moves beyond the cloud to the edge the traditional roles within an organization, and corresponding decision-making hierarchy relative to technology selection and implementation is changing. I might even suggest that this shift represents “a splintering” of ownership into strategic pockets of functional innovation.
What this means going forward is that people instead of technology is driving the transformation of various functions such as procurement within the modern enterprise. In such a scenario technology is simply a tool or “app” which must adapt to the way people work most efficiently in the real world. In the past ERP era, it was the other way around.
Based on this as well as other interesting and yes, even thought-provoking insights from the Market Dojo webinar, I would like to invite you to download my latest Knowledge Note Beyond The Bolt: How digitally-driven, cloud-based solutions will transform your procurement practice. As the title promises, you will gain a good first understanding of how digital is transforming global supply chains and the way that procurement professionals will (and are) influencing the selection and implementation of said technology.
Download the paper below by clicking the .pdf icon.