First, it is important for procurement organisations and their leaders to embrace the reality and potential for AI and cognitive procurement. Understand that, like most technologies, AI may bring changes, but it also presents significant opportunities. Next, based on the capabilities outlined above, think about what projects or processes in your organisation could most benefit from cognitive procurement. As you apply AI to certain procurement tasks and processes, you'll begin developing internal capability and expertise. It will also change the profile and enhance the skill set of your procurement professionals.
We are currently working on an AI in procurement research series that we'll be releasing over the next few months. For now, though, check out this webcast that we did with KPMG where we spelled out 23 different procurement AI areas that are being deployed out in the field. In it, KPMG had a few nice graphics that overlaid various AI technologies onto different procurement business processes. For example, machine learning can be helpful in classifying spend-related text (including unstructured and semi-structured) to any target spend taxonomy within spend analysis for strategic sourcing, but it can also be used to perform real-time auto classification within an e-procurement "guided buying" scenario.
The evolution of procurement technology has been a long road travelled during which time the landscape has changed significantly. But while technology often governs what we need to do today it's important to forecast what the future may hold for procurement in technology enablement terms too. I started covering this theme in my last blog, highlighting the initial findings from Wax Digital's Procurement 2020 reports – based on a set a future gazing in-depth interviews with senior procurement professionals and experts globally. Integration of procurement technology in the wider business was the first topic, the belief being that this could significantly change the goalposts for profession. In this second blog I move on to discuss procurement'intelligence'.