Mario Messuri, General Manager of JAGGAER Italia, comments on the results of a recent survey conducted by JAGGAER that outlines the present and future of the digital revolution currently underway in procurement organizations.
We report here the interview with Mario Messuri, General Manager of JAGGAER Italia, published in the Special “Procurement&Innovation” Congress II edition in Rome of The Procurement Magazine – Women and Procurement, Year 5 no.3 June-July-August 2019
From your perspective, what point have companies reached on the path to the digital transformation of procurement?
There’s no doubt that the transition to digital is now an established trend, partly as a result of recent national and European regulatory recommendations, which promote a paperless approach to the management of purchases. Companies are aware of this and are doing what is necessary to stay in step. But there is still a long way to go. We recently published the results of the survey “Digital Transformation in Procurement: How Close Are We?”, conducted by JAGGAER in collaboration with EdgeVerve (a subsidiary of the global giant Infosys), and with the participation of hundreds of purchasing professionals around the world. The companies involved represent all sectors, including the public sector, with the majority based in Europe and North America. A high-level conclusion of the report indicates that there are still very few companies claiming to manage purchases in a totally digitalized and integrated way with the support of smart technologies: only 2% of the survey respondents! The proportion of companies that claim to have digitized “standard” procurement processes is much greater (54%).
What, in your opinion, is holding up full digital adoption?
The results of the survey allow me to answer that question objectively. The obstacles indicated by the sample range from lack of budget and IT resources to the insufficient training of procurement professionals about digitalization. On top of this there is a lack of integrated management of data and processes. Therefore, both instrumental factors and aspects related to management and the ability to reinterpret business processes are slowing down innovations from a digital perspective. By which we mean implementing a digital transformation that goes beyond the simple replication, albeit via computer, of traditional processes.
What would help, by contrast, to “ground” digital transformation in an organization?
JAGGAER has been operating globally in the area of spend management solutions for more than 20 years. This long experience as enablers of innovation in purchasing processes has helped us to understand that innovation only has value for companies if it can be quickly and widely adopted in everyday business processes, improving them. That means the solutions must be simple, quick to implement, and as far as possible “ready to use” in meeting the needs of different sectors. If a user identifies with the processes managed by the solution, he will adopt it more quickly and with greater enthusiasm.
The JAGGAER paradigm, Procurement Simplified, which is the basis for our JAGGAER One solution, meets these requirements exactly. JAGGAER One allows every company to consolidate and control all of its spend from source to pay by means of a single, unified platform. The solution is in fact based on a software architecture suitable for supporting the use of web services to guarantee interoperability between various systems; this allows customers to implement, with a plug-and-play approach, a wide variety of best-in-class solutions for managing every spending strategy, in organizations with any level of digital maturity. Procurement Simplified also means flexibility, fully integrating with ERP and third-party systems.
Are you noticing widespread expectations and priorities in the demand for innovation from companies?
The expectations of companies regardless of sector and level of digital maturity, when they are looking for a source-to-pay process management platform, include certified security, secure interoperability between systems and data sources, ease of use and rapid implementation. Public administration also highlights the need for solutions that are always fully aligned with the changing regulations governing procurement. We have also noted a growing interest for certain emerging technologies in the AI environment. I am referring in particular to Robotic Process Automation, which is valued for its ability to automate repetitive processes. The report highlights RPA among the top priorities for the survey respondents, together with the Internet of Things (IoT) and predictive analytics. At JAGGAER we are investing heavily in these technologies and our solutions already integrate such applications. But that’s not all. Among other things we have made a lot of progress on advanced Smart Assistant applications, and the underlying sophisticated machine learning mechanisms, which will allow users to work in a more productive and satisfying manner.