What makes this a big deal is that the data collection and analytical tools that have been in development and marginal use for the last few years are now coming to maturity. Not only are they reliable and capable, they have been used and refined by a growing number of companies so that taking advantage of their capabilities is simpler and more intuitive than ever. Oh, and the growing competition has brought the prices of these services to a point at which even those companies engaged in cost cutting exercises should now be able to consider their use.
Deliotte's report is based on their survey of procurement professionals and offers some great insights into their plans for 2014. Here's a quote directly from the report:
Last modified on Wednesday, 15 January 2014
"Technology remains a high priority for CPOs with seven out of 10 respondents planning some or heavy investment in technology over the next year. With recent economic performance so positive, it is perhaps no surprise that Procurement is expecting to be given further permission to invest, especially in tools with the promise of unlocking more value. According to this year’s results we can expect to see a reprioritisation of data analytics in 2014. This is back after being the most popular area of CPO investment in 2011. We have seen the nature of analytics solutions change in those three years, becoming more multidimensional, dynamic, and insightful. However, for the majority there still appears to be some way to go."
To me this looks like an invitation to those organizations that are just beginning to explore the possibilities that big data and analytics can bring to their own operations. In addition to being the right time to begin or expand this exploration, it seems there is plenty of opportunity to move ahead of the competition and be comparative experts in leveraging the technology.