Digitization is a strategic priority across Europe
- Regardless of the country, sector or business size, procurement departments’ number two priority is to digitize their processes, with streamlining their organization only just taking first place. Talent management and developing supplier collaboration rank next in importance.
Digitization is well on track
- In line with 2017 findings, service-sector businesses are in the lead. Three out of seven of their processes are now digital, as opposed to two out of seven for industry. Digitization is set to expand as it is deemed a strategic priority (priority no. 2) in which companies will continue to invest.
- SMEs are slower to embrace digital procurement processes, with only 1.5 out of 7 already digitized. For these companies, the shift to digital is not strategic, although upwards of 80% plan to invest.
The digital leap forward in "strategic" processes
- 60% of companies have started digitizing strategic procurement processes – strategic sourcing, predictive analytics and supplier collaboration tools – compared to 21% in 2017 (a 39-point increase).
- For transactional aspects – Source-to-Pay, contract preparation and spend trackers – nearly 75% of companies are currently adopting digital solutions. In line with 2017 findings, these processes take priority.
Companies aspiring to roll out technological solutions is set to double
- 80% of companies are currently deploying Source-to-Pay solutions and nearly 90% intend to continue investing.
- On average, 33% of companies have tested AI, automation and Industry 4.0 solutions, of which 65% intend to invest in these technologies. The survey suggests that the number of AI users will increase by a multiple of 2.3.
- Conversely, attitudes towards blockchain are mixed, with only 14% of companies having carried out tests, of which 60% consider it to be unsatisfactory.
- Backed by these observations, we have devised a digital maturity curb.
What lies ahead?
- 78% of companies, regardless of their sector or country, stated their intention to invest in at least three digital solutions.
- Those companies having already rolled out such technologies are faced with acquiring the related skills, which has proved the number one setback for the projects’ success (before change enablement and sponsorship). In keeping with the findings of the 22nd CEO survey,* shortage of skills is a major concern for companies.