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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

The new year is fast approaching, and it's time to think about what lies ahead. Every year brings with it a mix of familiar and unfamiliar elements, hopes, questions, and events to look forward to.

It's clear that the hype around artificial intelligence (AI) this year will carry on into the next year, and it's something we should be prepared to see more of and interact with in the future, especially within Procurement.

Today I decided to ask SAP's own Chatbot and Microsoft Co Pilot, what they forecasted for Procurement in 2024. As expected, they both mentioned AI, but also other things, which you can see below. I picked 3 things from a longer list:

Next-level AI

One of the most prominent trends in the procurement space is the increasing adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions. According to a report by Deloitte, 70% of procurement leaders plan to increase their investment in digital technologies in the next year, and 56% expect to have fully automated their transactional procurement processes by 2025.

AI can help procurement organizations achieve greater efficiency, accuracy, transparency, and agility, as well as reduce costs and risks. Some of the AI applications that will enable this transformation include natural language processing, machine learning, computer vision, and chatbots.

Deloitte, "The Future of Procurement: Executive Summary", 2020, https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte...

Procurement with a purpose

Another major trend in the procurement B2B space is the growing importance of procurement with a purpose. My favorite out of the three.

B2B procurement organizations are facing increasing pressure from their customers, regulators, and stakeholders to adopt more sustainable and ethical practices in their sourcing and supply chain management.

According to a survey by EcoVadis, 81% of buyers consider sustainability as a key factor in their purchasing decisions, and 74% have increased their spending on sustainable products and services in the past year.

Procurement with a purpose can help procurement organizations enhance their reputation, brand loyalty, innovation, and competitive advantage. Some of the strategies that will support this trend include circular economy, green procurement, supplier diversity, and human rights due diligence.

EcoVadis, "The Future of Sustainability Reporting in the Age of Responsible Procurement", 2020, https://resources.ecovadis.com/whitepapers/the-future-of-sustainability-reporting-in-the-age-of-resp...

Quantum computing

A third trend in the procurement space is the potential impact of quantum computing. Quantum computing is a new paradigm of computing that uses quantum mechanics to perform calculations that are impossible or impractical for conventional computers. Quantum computing is expected to enable computers to handle complex procurement tasks with ease, offer unmatched data security, perform risk analysis, and manage large, global supply chains more efficiently. Quantum computing is still in its early stages of development, but some of the companies that are leading the way include IBM, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon

IBM, "Quantum Computing for Business", 2021, https://www.ibm.com/quantum-computing/business/

The future may be easier in many ways, when it comes to physical work on the computer, as a lot of time that was used on less important tasks, can now be used on more significant things that will benefit people, the nature, and the common good. We have many other challenges to address, such as the environment, welfare, peace, poverty, and so on. It would be wonderful if we could focus more on this, and if Procurement with a Purpose can help that change, I think it will be very valuable.

Enjoy the rest of 2023 and best wishes for the new year.