One of the hot buzzphrases in 2018 is “digital transformation.”
The phrase is often used in business contexts. For example, I really like the definition that The Enterprisers Project uses on their website: “Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to customers. It’s also a cultural change that requires organizations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment, and get comfortable with failure.”
So, naturally, if digital transformation is going on in business, it is happening in procurement also.
In my mind, the concept of digital transformation is really not new, even though the buzz phrase is. Many organizations have been increasingly replacing non-digital processes with digital processes for decades. So, I see the changes that are happening in many organizations as more of a digital evolution than a digital transformation.
“Evolution” implies a gradual change over a long period of time. “Transformation” implies a massive change in a compressed period of time.
Regardless, the time to be a heavily digital business – and a heavily digital procurement department – is now. How you get to where you need to be is determined by what has been happening over the past several years. Does getting to world-class involve just a few tweaks on changes that are already in process (evolution)? Or does it involve the need for massive changes from where you are today (transformation)?
If your department is in the need for a true procurement digital transformation, it won’t be easy. But I stumbled upon a report that will help you evaluate your procurement department’s readiness for a digital transformation.
That report is called “Digital Transformation in Procurement: An Examination of Cultural Influences on the Successful Implementation of a Digital Strategy.” It is authored by the eternally insightful Jon Hansen, best known for his work on Procurement Insights.
The report reviews four cultural characteristics of an organization that can enable – or hamper – its ability to effectively make a digital transformation. Though the report is powerful in its detail, it really helps you focus in on some key fundamental questions that will help you self-assess your organization’s readiness for a procurement digital transformation.
You can check out the report on SlideShare here.