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. 

Please add a comment

You must be logged in to leave a reply. Login »

Related Content

Thought Leadership and the Demise of Your Third-Party MRO Outsourcing Program: Part 4

George E. Krauter

When one defines third-party MRO (3PMRO) success, one assumes that fundamental operations are being executed and that expectations are being met (i.e., ROI goals are surpassed} Read More

Guidance for Addressing the New Talent Acquisition Challenge

Dennis Bouley

The US Labor Department reported in March of this year that there were 6.6 million job openings, a record high. Although most of us applaud these numbers Read More

Millennials in Supply Chain Management Seek Advancement and Development Opportunities

Marisa Brown

Millennials working in the supply chain management field don’t fit the mold that the older generation assumes for them. APQC’s recent study Read More

Supplier Profiles


Staples Advantage is the one supplier that offers all the business solutions you need, all with the expertise of a specialty vendor. Read More


It started in 1972 with an idea, a new concept in distribution. Today, Digi-Key Corporation is one of the fastest-growing electronic component distributors in the World. The stimulus for this growth is Digi-Key's customer-centered business philosophy… Read More

Lunney Advisory Group

Lunney Advisory Group was founded in 2007. Our firm is not your typical consulting company. Some members of our firm are highly qualified and experienced industry executives/practitioners while others are full time or adjunct university professors.… Read More


What CEOs Expect Of Purchasing

Guest Contributor

Procurement and supply management leaders have a seat at the table, and management’s expectations are high. But what do CEOs really want, and is purchasing delivering on these expectations? This webcast looks at how procurement and supply management … Read More

Growing Purchasing Influence On Indirect Spending

Guest Contributor

At world-class companies, purchasing’s influence touches just about every area of spending. But, how exactly do procurement teams get to the point where other departments approach them for help with sourcing such indirect categories as human resource… Read More

Procurement-Finance Collaboration

Guest Contributor

Procurement & finance are two business functions which are often at loggerheads with each other. One reason for this is the lack of perception alignment on an important metric of procurement and finance performance - 'savings'. Read More