10 for 2010: Predictions for the New Decade

Posted by Andrew Bartolini on January 6th, 2010
Stored in Articles, General, Lists

For many years now, the arrival of every new calendar sends me into a list-making frenzy that consumes several weeks as I work to develop a set of personal “top 10” lists from the past year (or decade) across various areas of interest, usually media and sports related. But this new blog in a new year (and decade) deserves new ideas, not a walk down memory lane. With that in mind, I offer the first of my “10 for 2010” lists: Predictions for the New Decade. Forward!

  1. Many of today’s leading CPOs will move into roles that command greater responsibility and control. During the tough times, a great number of CPOs went above and beyond the call of duty to drive value when it was needed most. The leadership and managerial skills found in many of today’s CPOs leave little doubt that this prediction comes true.
  2. Social media technology will foster the development of an extraordinary array of professional networks that will dramatically improve the productivity, skills, and knowledge of the average enterprise. If a team of researchers at MIT can build a network to find 10 weather balloons randomly scattered across the US by DARPA in less than 12 hours, imagine what a properly connected and incentivized supply chain partner network can deliver in the way of optimization and innovation.
  3. The supplier and payment networks that quickly adopt Web 2.0 capabilities and lead the way on interoperability will be the ones most likely to thrive and survive the threat from next-generation networks. Prediction 3A: Next-generation networks will arrive in this decade.
  4. Go South, young man!  (US) or Go East, young man! (Europe). While the rise of full BPO supported by Asia-based resources took hold across many functional areas, procurement and accounts payable have been slower to follow. Whether or not full or incremental BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) becomes more widely adopted, CPOs and controllers will be pressured to utilize lower-cost resources. As such, enterprises will leverage new outsourced or in-sourced support from low-cost countries that are located in the same hemisphere. The US will look south to Mexico and Central and South America while Europeans will look to the easternmost parts of the continent.
  5. Although analysts (guilty as charged) and providers have been talking about the “Amazon effect” in supply management solutions for years, the next decade will deliver solutions with true consumer-like functionality and ease-of-use.  Consider the benefits from Amazon-like shopping capabilities for the occasional e-procurement user to find and requisition what’s needed or from TurboTax-like guidance capabilities for e-sourcing users to quickly create an eRFx by answering a few questions and linking to historical information.
  6. Next generation supply management solutions will drive advances far beyond those achieved in the last decade.
  7. The critical value of spend visibility will finally be universally accepted (as of January 6, 2010, it is not) and its uses (and therefore, the number of those using it) will be greatly expanded. Can you imagine accessing real-time spend information during the sales cycle and working to identify supplier concessions so a discounted deal that maintains margins can close at the end of the quarter? I can.
  8. Although the green movement within the Global 2000 will become more customer and/or cost-driven (compared to its more altruistic roots), a tipping point in the investment dollars for sustainability will eventually be reached, creating a “Moore’s Law” type of innovation cycle where the benefits of green solutions begin to expand exponentially and broad-based adoption ensues.
  9. Social media technology will foster the development of an extraordinary array of professional networks that will dramatically improve the productivity, skills, and knowledge of the average worker. If a group of war re-enactors can bond together and bring a major US city to its knees, imagine what a group of engineers, buyers, and suppliers can create when they form a network around a specific category or process.
  10. The advances made by procurement in response to major business issues (such as globalization, supply risk, market volatility, and innovation), in the last decade when taken in aggregate, were phenomenal. The new decade will bring a wider range of procurement departments making a more significant impact in many major business areas.

Will I be this century’s Man Who Saw Tomorrow? Only time will tell. Care to share what’s in your crystal ball? Please post a comment in the section below.

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