Is digital procurement an industry must or simply FOMO?

Digital platforms are the future for procurement

Everyone has experienced it at some point or another. The dreaded FOMO, or, “fear of missing out.” Turns out, this goes deeper than missing a sports game or not buying the newest smartphone at launch. Even procurement specialists in businesses across industries suffer from FOMO.

Recently, a wave of digital transformation has been sweeping across fortune-500 companies and small businesses alike. More and more, companies are implementing new systems meant to speed up manufacturing and distribution of goods. However, for those in charge of procurement, this can be a nightmare.

Why? Such new platforms also have a steep learning curve. Innovation always brings change, and when that change comes to a system that has been in place for decades, it can also bring headaches. So why bring the innovation with its steep learning curve in the first place? A recent study shows that the answer may, in fact, lie more with FOMO rather than necessity.

FOMO in Full Swing

Efficio Consulting conducted a study regarding digital procurement methods, if they result in more solutions, or simply lead to headaches. Interestingly, it found that 48 percent of survey respondents, who were pulled from a pool of procurement leaders, acknowledged that digital procurement is mainly driven by FOMO. In other words, everyone wants to keep up with the Joneses, regardless if they understand what the Joneses are doing.

Even worse, respondents claim that they don’t think utilizing new technology will be effective to fulfill its promises. In fact, 72 percent of buyers felt that their departments lacked the talent needed to harness the power of a digital infrastructure. Another 66 percent believe that poor vendor support will hinder a return on investment.

Challenges Being Met

Despite the overwhelming belief that digital procurement is driven primarily by FOMO, experts suggest that it may still be worth the time and money. Though there are challenges to overcome, leaders in the procurement space still recognize this is the future of integrated systems. Vendors already use such methods, so procurement has to keep stride in order to keep on top.

Unfortunately, the future is hidden behind lofty barriers. For one, there is a lack of talent to manage and use high-end, cutting-edge technology within a traditional workflow. However, 78 percent of procurement managers from the Efficio study believe that digital transformation should be a boardroom priority. Do bosses agree?

The answer is yes; for the most part. A majority 63 percent have rethought their approach to business due to new technologies. So, while this doesn’t mean the transition will be easy, there does seem to be support beyond FOMO for making the leap into digital.

As the world becomes more connected digitally, businesses will naturally follow the path. Whether driven by FOMO or strategy, businesses utilizing digital procurement platforms are good. It may lead to some short term setbacks but will ultimately help “future-proof” company operations.