Are You Ready For Blockchain? Or SMAC/BRAID? Preparing Yourself For The Digital Revolution

Posted 14/11/2016

For anyone working in a Procurement Transformation role, the blockchain revolution starts in 2017.  If you don’t know what that is, you need to as the realities of the digital transformation are already upon us. Those organisations that don’t keep up will certainly fall behind, and those that grasp the opportunities first could gain a first mover advantage that may take years for the competition to catch up. 

GEP outlook 2016 notes a ‘push to digital’ as one of 5 key trends facing the world.  At face value that might not seem unusual – until perhaps you see what types of major world considerations are sitting alongside it, namely: 1) heightened impact of geopolitics (geopolitical instability and terrorism), 2) shift of economic power to the U.S and to the ‘New’ emerging economies, 3) continued decline in global commodities prices and 4) increased impact of climate change. One can’t fail to see the significance of the point, when sat along those big-hitting issues -  the whole way we get work done is not just improving via technological advancement and application – it’s going to completely disrupt whole marketplaces. 

In the procurement world there are frankly many organisations who haven’t even embraced basic systems like P2P or S2P or invested in simple eAuction or eSourcing tools. If you are one of them, you have cause to worry. This is no longer something that only the big corporates have, or ‘we don’t need it round here, we’re fine’. If you’ve been putting it off – the message out there is….don’t. Get those basics in place now, as that digital future is here…now. 

Now for those sceptics amongst us, and especially those who remember the Dot-Com boom between 1995 and 2000, it is a reasonable view to consciously challenge the opportunity technology offers. Quite naturally just because it exists, doesn’t mean it’s useful to you in your context. And we’ve all fallen victim to overly complicated systems that sounded great in theory, only for it to fade into disuse. Systems have to be user friendly so they get used, practically, on a day to day basis. 

The point of this blog is…don’t ignore it. There is a massive difference between consciously deciding not to pursue some technological advancement because you’ve studied the pros and cons, versus ignoring it exists.  Get out there and educate yourself and establish a plan consisting of those digital technologies that will work for you, in your organisation, by when. And who knows – if you haven’t got some of those basics already in place, your research might show you that you can leapfrog some of the old technologies and go straight to ‘great’. Don’t assume a standard pathway. 

Here’s 10 digital disrupters you need to know about (SMAC/BRAID): 

1)     Social Media

2)     Mobile Technology

3)     Analytics/Big Data

4)     Cloud Service

5)     Blockchain

6)     Robotics

7)     Automation of Knowledge and Work

8)     Internet of Things

9)     Digital Fabrication

10)   And there is also Artificial Intelligence (although this is still immature – come back in 2 years though) 

If you truly understand less than half of those, you have some research to do. Watch out for our next blogs as we explore some of these and some key things to think about. And please let our FP community of 10,000+ fellow procurement professionals know what you know. This is moving fast and we’re all learning the implications, and excitingly the possibilities, together.

Tagged by topic: Procurement Technologies , Procurement Transformation

  by Allison Ford-Langstaff

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