Will procurement be determined by algorithms in 2035? How will digitalisation influence the daily routine of procurement? Will the status quo remain unchanged? "Future-proof procurement" – a study by KPMG and Florida State University – uses scenarios to show what the future of procurement may look like.
Once purely an ordering department, today's procurement function is a central point of contact for spending across the business. But how will it look in the year 2035? Will procurement be determined by artificial intelligence in 2035 or will the human factor continue to play a significant role? What will be the extent of centralisation in respect to the future organisation and management of business? In a new study KPMG International, in cooperation with Florida State University, puts forwards several scenarios; each case focuses on one aspect:
1. R.I.P. Procurement: Procurement brings about its own demise
In this scenario, technology has disruptively developed to such an extent that the procurement process is almost fully automated and procurement simply no longer occurs in its current form. Artificial intelligence is widespread and businesses are mostly organised decentrally.
2. Primacy of procurement: Procurement at the center of power
In this scenario, digitalisation is also very advanced, nevertheless the human element has not been replaced by automation. On the contrary, a democratic coexistence prevails. Digitalisation has not proved to be a job killer; conversely it has led to a greater diversity of roles, functions and responsibilities. The business world is also centralised. All information converges centrally at one point in the hierarchy – procurement presides over the business functions.
3. The world of project economy: The procurement department disperses
The era of orientation to people shapes this scenario alongside the simultaneous decentralised organisation of the business. People on a decentralised basis, rather than machines, mould this scenario: freelance staff, distributed across the globe, bear the main burden of adding value.
4. Creative agent: Procurement reinvents itself
Human centricity is also the focus in this scenario. All relevant information converges at a central point through reinforced centralisation: at procurement, which has reinvented itself in a changing world. Procurement has become an agent for business model development, trend management and a creative service provider.
At present only one thing seems certain: no one can predict the definitive future for procurement. Read more about key trends and wildcards in this study and derive the strategic implications using future-proofing methods and position procurement securely for the future.
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