Ever since humans began using robots to tackle tasks, there have been naysayers predicting everything from all human jobs being written off by 2020, to complete world domination by a race of self-aware machine overlords.
The entire source-to-pay spectrum in procurement stares at the eventuality named automation. With automation having the potential to lower procurement costs, generate greater savings and render greater value, its aggressive foray into the source-to-pay spectrum remains only a matter of time.
An evil cyber force reared its ugly head (yet again) to launch an unprecedented ransomware pandemic in mid-May 2017. The severity of the cyberattack – 10,000 organizations and 200,000 individuals were impacted in over 150 countries causing billions in financial losses – was a staggering demonstration of the under-preparedness shown by enterprise IT security teams to tackle issues related to cybersecurity.
Today’s outsourcers and shared services operations are expected to deliver not just cost savings, but also innovation, agility, quality and growth. At the same time the bar has been raised when it comes to expectations with customers having lower tolerance for mistakes, delays or poor service. In fact, Gartner rates customer experience at the top of CEOs’ priorities for 2017. It is the ability for organisations to respond and adapt quickly to both customer requests and changing market circumstances that can provide that key point of differentiation.
Herbert Simon explored the intersection of philosophy, science, politics, economics and a range of other fields and called into question the traditional idea that “economic man” acts rationally. Simon, who was a long-time professor at Carnegie Mellon University, received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1978. Simon’s diverse research ranged across the fields of cognitive psychology, cognitive science, computer science, economics, management, philosophy of science, sociology, and political science; he helped lay the foundation for behavioral economists around the world. He died in 2001.
Over in Silicon Valley, the latest battle for technological dominance is on. On the one hand, you have apps. Apps have been with us for nearly ten years, but 2016 marked the first year that mobile internet use overtook desktop internet use. This trend, which shows no sign of slowing down, puts apps on the front page of the internet — so to speak.
Commentators have long debated the extent to which ‘short-termism’ (the concentration on short-term objectives for immediate profits) in business impacts both individual organisations and the wider economy. According to recent research, however, companies deliver significantly improved results when leaders manage with long-term strategic goals in mind and resist pressure from investors to focus excessively on meeting short-term financial targets.
Ever since the 2016 elections, America’s outsourced manufacturing has consistently been front-page news. Now news stories are shifting towards the larger world of foreign imports, rather than just outsourcing. That means new policies and taxes that will impact, well, just about everything! That means all consumer goods, cars, electronics and a lot more. But what about... cartoons? Yeah… what about the Saturday morning ghetto, Hanna-Barbera, The Simpsons, and the Cartoon Network?
As regulations and consumer pressures shift and organisations are increasingly exposed to risk – reputational and beyond – the procurement industry faces a critical juncture. This dynamic has created a business environment where sustainable procurement programs are no longer just nice to have, but an integral organisational function that is responsible for protecting and improving brand reputation, driving revenue and mitigating business risk.