For Procurement, a Digitalized Workforce is Just Around the Corner

By Dennis Bouley

March 31, 2018 at 2:13 PM

According to The Hackett Group, a strategic consulting and benchmarking firm, tomorrow’s digital and analytic workforce will have dramatically different roles in business functions. As automation decreases the need for highly manual and task-oriented activities, organizations instead will need create new roles and develop or acquire new skills such as data architects, data scientist, digital partner behavioral scientist, and information security expert. These roles will require professionals to perform activities such as analysis, identifying and solving problems, serving as a business partner, mining data for new opportunities, and developing predictive models.

What kinds of skills will a digitally-enabled workforce require?

  • Data savviness - Process data and extract relevant information Knowledge of analytical tools and methodologies Translates analyses into actionable plans.
  • Business acumen - Understand key business drivers Knowledge of factors, priorities and business demands Identify problems and prioritize alternatives.
  • Relationship management - Advanced interpersonal skills; high social and emotional intelligence Positively influence decisions Open, approachable, collaborative.
  • Strategic mindset - Develop strategic frameworks and visions Anticipates market changes Address challenges and outline future direction.
  • Creativity and innovation - Create diverse and novel ideas, or novel combinations of ideas Create and recognize new patterns/categories Curiosity, broad interests, constructive criticism.
  • Agility and change orientation - Welcomes change Comfortable with shifting priorities Able to deal with ambiguity.

According to the Hackett Group’s recent 2018 Key Issues study, a strategic consulting and benchmarking firm, nearly 80% of executives surveyed indicated that improving functional analytical, modeling and reporting capabilities for decision support was of high or critical importance.

The study goes on to say that nearly 63% of organizations indicated that today their analytics talent pool is decentralized with each business function having its own analytics capability. This trend is expected to drop by nearly half, to 32%, within the next 2-3 years in favor of models that serve as a centralized analytics hub for the enterprise.

Most procurement organizations have opportunities to elevate analytic and decision support capabilities to deliver greater value to the enterprise. To facilitate such improvements, organizations expect to increase mainstream adoption of advanced analytics and related tools in the near term. Overall, 53% of executives surveyed expect mainstream adoption of advanced analytics tools within two to three years, up from about 8% today – an increase of nearly 7 times. Specifically, in the area of procurement, mainstream adoption of such principles will increase from the current 20% of today to 63% within the next 2-3 years.

For more information on the Hackett Group’s 2018 Key Issues study, register for their complete research report at

The Hackett Group is an intellectual property-based strategic consultancy and leading enterprise benchmarking and best practices digital transformation firm to global companies, offering digital transformation including robotic process automation and enterprise cloud application implementation. Services include business transformation, enterprise analytics, working capital management and global business services. The Hackett Group also provides dedicated expertise in business strategy, operations, finance, human capital management, strategic sourcing, procurement and information technology.

Tags: procurement analytics digitalized workforce procurement workforce procurement skills
Category: News Article

Dennis Bouley


Dennis Bouley is Editorial Director of and special advisor to MediaSolve Group, a strategic B2B marketing services firm focused on helping companies and institutions leverage the web and social media to achieve business goals. He spent 18 years at Schneider Electric as Managing Editor of Global Publications, and was responsible for cross-division management of the corporation’s white paper and customer success story processes. Prior to that, he spent 10 years working for IBM managing both small and large accounts. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Rhode Island and holds a Certificat Annuel from the Sorbonne in Paris, France. 

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