Technological Damnation 88: Algorithm / Computing Leap

This damnation is like damnation 76 Cybersecurity / Cyberattack. Unlike Social Media, Big Data, and The Cloud, it’s not even on the radar until it happens. And it will happen, it’s just a question of when. While rarer than Cyberattack, which although a daily event in the news, for a given company, unless you’re a public Global 3000, is probably only a potential issue a few times a year (and if IT is doing its job, the Firewalls are going to keep most hackers, and all of the wannabes, out). But every now and again, those walls get breached and if consumer, or credit, data gets stolen, then it’s damnation #1 (at least until resolved).

Similarly, new innovations hit the market every day, and every few years, some of them are big. Really big. So big they disrupt entire business models and those companies not ready don’t survive. But it’s not just IT companies that have to fear computing leaps, it’s Procurement too. Computing leaps and new algorithms will eventually seep their way into enterprise platforms, and while Procurement platforms may not be the first platform to see improvements, they are coming, and any organization that isn’t ready to be an innovator is going to be a laggard, and while innovators save, laggards lose. Innovators that adopted leading e-Invoicing platforms early, and got 85%+ of invoices electronically submitted using a standard protocol that allowed 85%+ of those to be automatically processed and approved without manual intervention, were able to reduce manual invoice processing requirements by 70%, reduce invoice overpayments by a similar amount, and, most importantly, free up that time to get more spend under management. If this increased sourcing events by 50%, and increased spend under management by 30%, that’s significant. Very significant!

So why is this a damnation, since every leap is good? Because you don’t know when it’s coming. You don’t know where it’s coming. And you don’t know what the fallout will be. And because you’re so overworked and so understaffed, you don’t even have time to think about this. Unless you are one of the handful of companies that is lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and find out about the right product that you can be one of the few beta testers for, you’re not going to know about it until your competitor suddenly takes 5% off the bottom line, increases profit 3-fold, and gets the Procurement budget to advance leaps and bounds ahead of you, grow their supplier management teams, and have the resources to work 24/7 to be the customer of choice while the best suppliers relegate you to be an afterthought.

Uncertainty, while often forgotten and out of mind, is a damnation all the same.