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Ivalua: UK business face digital procurement skills barrier

Ivalua research identifies that 86% of UK businesses face barriers when it comes to developing digital skills in procurement

|Oct 13|magazine7 min read

In an announcement made by Ivalua, the company has identified that 86% of UK businesses are facing barriers when it comes to developing digital skills in procurement. As a result the shortage of digitally savvy talent and lack of training is hindering digital procurement initiatives. 

Key findings from the report include:

  • 31% identified a shortage of digital savvy talent as a barrier to develop the skills needed, while 28% identified a lack of training for technical and soft skills and 13% identified a lack of understanding of the skills required (13%)
  • Over 55% of UK businesses believe digital skills in procurement are less advanced compare to other departments
  • 84% of UK businesses believe the skills required of procurement professionals has transitioned from procurement first to digital first
  • 84% and 83% respectively believe great digitalisation and digital skills in procurement would enable the UK to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 more effectively

“Over the last decade, the role of procurement has transformed from one of cost-cutters to a vital ally that can help inform and enable a business’s strategy. The global COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this trend even further, reinforcing the importance of procurement as businesses adapt to the new normal,” commented Alex Saric, smart procurement expert at Ivalua.

“However, for too long, procurement has been seen as a digital laggard, with technology adoption trailing behind other departments. In order to keep its seat at the table in strategic discussions, procurement must ensure it has people with the right skills in-house, as well as easy to use technologies, or risk being unable to offer significant strategic value.”

Other findings in the report include:

  • 55% of UK businesses have introduced data analytics, 53% cloud based platforms, 35% automation and 30% artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in the last 12 months
  • 88% find it challenging to hire the right skills to work with AI, cloud or data analytics
  • 76% are concerned that existing teams will struggle to work with new technologies 
  • 91% believe that improving digital skills will make procurement more strategic, while 94% believe it will provide a competitive advantage

“In a rapidly evolving business environment, digital skills are essential for procurement teams to analyse and mitigate risk, identify new opportunities and collaborate with suppliers. However, procurement teams are struggling to both attract digital talent and upskill existing teams, which puts them at risk of falling behind competitors, losing market share, and struggling to identify risk and opportunities ahead of time,” added Saric.

“To address the digital skills gap in procurement, UK businesses need to ensure they are focusing on adopting tools that are easy to use and improve access to actionable insights. By making procurement smarter, businesses are giving teams the tools and skills needed to thrive in the new normal, allowing the business to react and proactively address the shifting sands of a post-COVID world.”

To read the full report, click here!

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