Our take on Gartner’s 2018 predictions for procurement and sourcing technology

February 13, 2018 | Marissa Bialick

In Gartner’s recent annual report, they discuss their predictions as to what will have a great impact on procurement and sourcing technology in the coming year and how the market will change over time. One thing that is definitely clear – the procurement and sourcing market is evolving quickly as technology continues to advance.

The summary of the report suggests that CPOs, IT leaders, and procurement organizations need to “plan for the impact of virtual assistants, cloud-based business intelligence tools and B2B marketplaces.” Why are these at the forefront of procurement and sourcing? The answer is simple: the future of procurement will be AI-powered solutions and online marketplaces. Let’s find out a few of the reasons Gartner makes this claim.

The first prediction Gartner makes in the report is that “By 2022, 50% of all legacy spend analysis software will be retired; replaced by artificial intelligence (AI)-powered, cloud-based solutions.” This prediction refers to the existing source-to-pay process with legacy solutions being imperfect, tedious, and limited. Legacy systems are typically tied to a set of pre-defined questions and answers. However, with AI advancements and the use of machine learning, future systems will be able to perform intelligent tasks and learn dynamically just as a human can. An example of this is Xeebot, our unique AI technology that’s mixed with embedded domain expertise that powers our software. He reduces the steps involved in managing your sourcing and procurement. He also learns while he performs to provide a positive impact on your bottom line.

Related: How machine learning gives organizations a new (and better) perspective of spend management

According to Gartner, “by 2020, natural-language generation and AI will be standard features of 90% of modern BI platforms.” The way they explain this is that “the solution will be able to not only classify the data but also interpret it to draw out trends and recommend actions.” They consider this to be the start of creating a virtual category manager. We believe this too so we designed our patented Virtual Data Manager (VDM) to take unstructured and fragmented data across various systems and quickly cleanse and categorize it to provide granular, detailed visibility into an organization’s spend data. Our Virtual Catalog Manager (VCM) converts the VDM’s outcomes into immediately usable catalog items, providing you savings opportunities and ensuring you get the best deal.

“The future of procurement will be AI-powered solutions & online marketplaces.”

Another prediction Gartner makes is that “By 2022, 75% of all B2B tail spend goods will be purchased in an online marketplace.” An online marketplace, like ours, should allow for improved compliance, increased spend visibility, and greater collaboration. It allows you to oversee the supplier relationship and create accountability for business requirements, keeping everyone on the same page.

If you have a Gartner account, read the rest of their predictions for 2018 here.

Learn more about how procurement and sourcing technology will benefit from AI by watching our webinar: “How AI is shaping the future of indirect procurement.”