As usual, throughout December and into January, the Procurement industry peers into its proverbial Crystal Ball, to proclaim the top Trends and Predictions for the year ahead.

We’ve summarised our humble thoughts on the topic at the end of this piece, but first of all let’s look at what the industry is suggesting that we should be focussing on in the next 12 months:

SUPPLY MANAGEMENT – rounds up its key procurement and supply chain predictions for 2022:

    1. Prioritising risk management
    2. Investing in IT solutions
    3. Maximising talent
    4. Visibility in supply chains
    5. Procurement taking centre stage

Have a look at: What are the key procurement trends for 2022? – Supply Management (


SOURCE TODAY – 5 procurement predictions for 2022:

    1. Companies Want Less Paper and More Automation
    2. Procurement’s Role in ESG grows
    3. The Spotlight is on Supplier Diversity
    4. Forward-Looking Data Analytics Come Into View
    5. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Come of Age

Have a look at: 5 Procurement Predictions for 2022 | Source Today (from a Basware article)


PROCUREMENT MAGAZINE – summarises the thoughts of 10 Procurement industry leaders’ insights and predictions for 2022:

    1. Are businesses ready for Circular Sourcing
    2. Risk Management should be a first priority for organisations
    3. It’s time to think big
    4. Accelerating digital transformation in Procurement
    5. Social procurement
    6. Customer data will focus much more on quality over quantity
    7. Source to Pay
    8. Contract lifecycle management
    9. AI-powered contract review
    10. Don’t doubt the Metaverse

Top 10 procurement predictions and trends in 2022 (


PROCURETECH – predictions for 2022:

    1. Digitalisation
    2. Intelligence
    3. People, Planet and Prosperity
    4. Organisation

Have a look at: ProcureTech100 Predictions for 2022: Digitalisation Part 1 – Procuretech


As always, there’s much to admire in these lists, and the articles wrapped around them. From our tiny corner of the ProcureTech start-up world, we humbly put forward 6 key areas that the conversations we’re having with our clients are suggesting are going to be critical to them in 2022:


  1. Acceleration of Digital Procurement Transformation
    If you follow the theory of the Diffusion of Innovation, it could be said that we’re at the start of the “Early Majority” segment when it comes to the Digital Procurement Transformation that forms part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). The 2.5% of “Innovators” are way out in front. The 13.5% of organisations that constitute the “Early Adopters” made great strides throughout 2021. Now the next 34% of organisations have got Digital Procurement in their sights – the question remains “how long will it be before the ‘Late Majority’ (34%) and then finally the ‘Laggards’ (16%) wake up and join the party?”
  2. Data, Data, Data
    Much has been written about data and its importance to successful digital procurement (including our piece here: Why we hate data – Axiom Data). We think 2022 is the year when Procurement finally starts getting to grips with data and stops hiding behind the fact that their historical data is poor. Now is the moment for Procurement to make a stand, draw a line in the sand and ensure that suppliers understand their responsibility in presenting you with complete and accurate data for every single transaction moving forwards (if necessary, as part of supplier contracts). Leave us to worry about your dirty and unstructured historical data as we build a powerful data foundation for you.
  3. Beyond Spend Analytics and the Rise of Procurement-Intelligence©
    There was a time when data driven Spend Analytics was all the rage, the new kid on the block, the answer to Procurement’s woes. The reality is of course that this is only one piece (albeit an important piece) of the jigsaw or step on journey to the more efficient, automated procurement world that is coming down the track. Understanding what you’ve bought previously still means you’re looking in the rear-view mirror. Procurement needs to be focussed on the road ahead and needs to ensure every single future procurement decision is predicted, with this prediction Powered by Data, Informed by Insight, Driven by Intelligence and Guided by Science. Welcome to the world of Procurement-Intelligence©.
  4. Creating a Digital Backbone and best-in-class ecosystem
    One of the biggest changes this last year has been the wholesale realisation that one system doesn’t fit all. As Dr Elouise Epstein, Thought Leader and Partner at Kearney states: “the technology landscape of the future will be an ecosystem of flexible tools. Companies need to take a future-proof approach, which means sourcing intelligent individual technologies that can be updated as they evolve.” And Dan Bartel, CPO of Schneider Electric reinforces this view when he says “75% of the innovations that we embed are coming from start-ups and 25% are coming from our strategic suppliers – 5 years ago that ration was reversed.” The start-up landscape is ever changing and there are two good places to start – Lance Younger’s ProcureTech (Procuretech – The definitive 100 pioneering digital procurement …) and Matthias Gutzmann’s DPW (DPW | The global ecosystem for technology and innovation in procurement.)
  5. Digital Procurement as a Competitive Differentiator
    We’ve been reading about the Great Resignation, and as things stand a quick search on LinkedIn reveals that there are 362,895 current procurement jobs listed on the platform. The War for Talent is enormous at the moment, but the great news is that there’s a wave of new talent, with new ideas and a new energy entering the sector. Once seen as a bit of a corporate backwater, Procurement is now at the centre of every progressive organisation with a seat (and a loud voice) at the top table. As Dr Elouise Epstein says “the greatest time to be in Procurement is NOW!”. It’s easy to see how this talent is going to levitate to companies seen as “Innovators” and “Early Adopters” in our digital world. This is without considering the commercial advantages that such organisations can achieve through streamlined and intelligent procurement that focuses as much on managing global risk as it does on maximising value. If you’re working for a “Laggard” boss or company, and your mindset is towards innovation then if you haven’t dusted off your digital CV yet then we suspect it’s pretty high up your list of New Year’s Resolutions!
  6. ESG comes of age
    And Procurement can make all the difference. The world is not interested in green washing any longer, consumers are not interested in bland corporate PR statements about carbon off-setting. They want action and they want it now! Or they’ll be off to one of your competitors who’s got it right in this area. It’s easy for organisations to get to grip with their Scope 1 and 2 emissions but it’s the Scope 3 emissions that exist in the supply chain that are the hardest to quantify and control. But all your Scope 3 emissions are a Scope 1 or 2 for someone – your supplier!! If we’re honest, Suppliers have had a pretty easy one-dimensional ride for the last 20 years – compete on quality, price and service levels and you’re going to be okay. Not anymore, Buyers need to work with their Supply chain to get them to step up to the ESG table, big time. They need to know that moving forwards your decisions are going to be based on data relating to Sustainable objectives and Diversity metrics and if they want to remain a ‘strategic’ supplier then they need to provide you with accurate data to guide your decision making.

What do you think? If you want to continue the discussion then please feel free to get in touch, we’d be delighted to expand on how Procurement-Intelligence© is helping global organisations on their Digital Transformation journeys…….


In the meantime, we’re very much looking forward to tuning into PROCURETECH’s virtual event on Thursday 13th January to listen to: “2022 Predictions & Purpose” where Patrick Foelck (Roche), Jason Kurtz (Accel-KKR), Adam Brown (BT Sourced), Dr Elouise Epstein (Kearney) & Lance Younger (ProcureTech) will be sharing their thoughts and revealing the way ahead for digital procurement.