Have you noticed the rising profile of the CTO? I have. The once backseat or non-existent member of the c-suite is now involved in nearly every critical business decision an organisation makes. Perhaps you’ve noticed your firm is hiring more digital marketers, digital strategists or digital supply chain managers?
The aggrandisement of the digital employee is real and vividly apparent across most organisations. With 90% of respondents to a recent MIT Sloan Management Review Survey suggesting they anticipate their business will be disrupted by digital, the scramble for tech savvy employees is a logical progression.
What does this mean for your procurement team?
We’ve pulled together the following tips to ensure your team doesn’t fall from the digital wagon.
- Understand that a digital strategy is an organisation wide commitment. There is no point in creating a digital procurement strategy if it is not closely aligned with your organisation’s broader digital strategy. For digital strategies to permeate a business they must have support from the upper echelons of management. If you don’t understand your company’s digital vision and direction, now is a good time to ask. If they don’t have one, now is the time to open that discussion and create one.
- Mind the Gap As discussed above, 90% of respondents to a recent MIT Sloan Management Review Survey believe their business will be disrupted by digital. However, of that same group, only 44% believe that their organisation is adequately preparing for this challenge. The report goes on to suggest that a lack of resources, skilled talent and conflicting priorities are forcing digital projects into silos. Meaning the organisation is not realising the full cross functional potential of these projects. It’s important that procurement teams understand this current state and position their offerings delicately within this environment, carefully spelling out the opportunities and required resources of any intended digital activity.
- Digital must woven into organisational culture.Digital strategy must be dealt with in the same way that organisations deal with other matters of critical corporate importance. If you work in the FMCG or mining sector, think about the way that safety permeates every aspect of your operations. Similar to way that risk is managed in the financial services sector, digital must sit at the very center of your operations and be considered in every decision you make.
- Talent is critical. Leveraging the full potential of the digital ecosystem will likely require and investment in talent. To get the best you need to pay well and continually train your staff. It’s important to understand that resourcing digital initiatives not merely a matter of going to the market and hiring some ‘digital experts’, all current team members must brought up to speed through training to operate in this new environment.
- Flexibility over ability. When hiring or training in staff. It’s important to understand the role that flexibility will play in the new workforce. While hiring technical experts will always be critical for some parts of your business, you must insure that above all else, your team is flexible and adaptable. Technology will continue to change. It’s just as important that your staff are ready for the next innovation or operating platform as it is that they are capable of working with the current tech suite. An employee that can continue to adapt and maximise output in a constantly changing digital landscape is worth her weight in gold.
- We’ll stop talking about digital soon. Someone told me recently that they were searching for a great ‘digital marketer’. I responded with “ah you mean you’re looking for a great marketer?’ There is no such thing as a good ‘non digital’ marketer. Marketing is digital now, all of it. Very soon this will spread across the organisation. Simply put, digital is the new norm, it’s the way we do business now. So get with the times or you’ll be left behind.
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