Ariba Vision 2020: Yesterday’s News

The following three predictions from Vision 2020 – The Future of Procurement were totally off the mark and, in SI’s view, could only have been made by someone living in a Procurement cave for the last 10 years as any organization that thinks these define a future state of Procurement has a lot of catching up to do.

03. Work goes mobile
Work has been mobile among the IT crowd for about a decade now and among the (management) consulting crowd for over five years. Just because some organizations are slow to catch on to the fact that modern technology allows you to work anywhere, anytime and keep in touch 24/7 through real-time video conferencing does not mean that it is visionary for an organization to finally latch on to this fact. Furthermore, any organization that takes another 10 years to latch on to this realization is probably not going to be in good shape in 10 years.

19. It’s complicated

Uhm, it’s been complicated for over a decade. It’s been complicated ever since the first Fortune 500’s first started to outsource critical manufacturing processes to India and China a couple of decades ago. And while the risks and complications will continue to change as the focus shifts to different emerging economies, it’s not going to get any riskier or complicated as a whole. There’ll be more awareness of the risks, which will appear to materialize more frequently as more operations are shifted global, but the risks and complications will be fundamentally no different than they were 20+ years ago.

20. It takes a network

Just like it’s been complicated since global sourcing started to materialize among the Supply Management leaders in the late 80s, it’s taken a network ever since the manufacturing giants (in automotive and consumer goods in particular) started outsourcing assemblies to tier 1 suppliers that integrated components from tier 2 suppliers. And the major Consumer Goods companies realized in the 90’s that in house was not enough. P&G laid the foundations for Innocentive in the 90s at the same time Unilever was focussed on developing better supplier networks across its global markets.

The next post will address Today’s Blues.