One of the most discussed subjects in 2018 was perhaps Revolution 4.0 and its application in several sectors, such as Procurement 4.0. There has been much talk about disruptive technologies and how partial or full adherence to them can affect business models positively.
And like every end of year, this is the time in which businesses disclose surveys containing data on what happened in recent months, as well as trends for the coming years.
Procurement 4.0 – Who are you in the survey?
Live University (Inbrasc University), in partnership with Thomson Reuters, developed and shared a study called “Road to the Future: desafios e oportunidades para a adoção de tecnologias nas empresas” (Road to the Future: challenges and opportunities for technology use in businesses).
The survey is a quantitative analysis of the investment in technology by companies that operate in Brazil, and also an invitation to reflection for all buyers and suppliers: who are you in the midst of all these data?
Are you a reactive person? Or a confused player amidst so much information? Or maybe one of those who put innovation into practice quickly?
See below the key insights of this study:
Road to the Future: the profile of interviewed professionals
The survey was conducted during 2018, with 308 professionals from the Fiscal & Tax, Foreign Trade, Supply Chain and Financial areas. Of that number, 81% of respondents are decision makers (managers and directors), and the remaining 19% are specialists.
Most of the participants live in Brazil’s southeast region, and 50% are employees of companies with yearly revenues between R$ 100 million and R$ 1 billion.
In addition, more than half of the interviewees have more than 9 years of experience in the area – which allowed a more accurate view of the situation of market digitalization.
The four pillars that oriented the study
The survey showed that adherence to technology is vital to face and overcome the challenges of the 4.0 era – such as efficiency, compliance and competitiveness. In such survey, four pillars were identified as landmarks of market situation.
Perhaps they aren’t new to most people, but such pillars make clear the weight and responsibility of each one in the process of digitalization development in Brazil.
So here are the 4 pillars identified in the study:
1. Risk mitigation and compliance
Risk elimination and compliance pursuit are the main reasons for technology adoption in businesses. No one wants to stay behind in the Internet age; hence the effort to seek alternatives, in order to mitigate all problems, from any source.
20% of respondents said that improving governance and compliance is a priority, while 18% were more concerned about risk and fraud reduction.
According to Ivan Garcia, Siemens’ Tax & Customs Director, “The complexity of Brazilian tax compliance creates a great need to implement technological tools (RPA, artificial intelligence, machine learning and cloud computing) in the routine of a tax department”.
2. Cost reduction and efficiency / competitiveness increase
Higher production levels, with superior quality, but without impairing the budget: this goal, which is common to most business decision makers, is also an important factor for the acceptance of new technologies.
An interesting fact, however, is that only 16% of respondents believed that technology has the power to make businesses more competitive. Most of them (25%) accepted innovations as cost reduction alternatives, in order to achieve a prominent share in the market.
In addition, 21% believed that technology can be of great help to improve corporate governance. This shows that, for the interviewees, competitiveness is a result of consolidated efforts in risk and cost reduction, and also compliance achievement.
In this new era, technology is what defines the failure or exponential growth of businesses.
The survey shows the level of maturity of professionals with regard to the subject, but also a curious fact: most of them are aware of technological advances, but still don’t invest enough to guarantee competitiveness.
The adoption of new technologies is seen positively by 90% of respondents, but 56% of them said they will not increase their budgets for technology in the short term.
Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are the key technologies, according to decision makers, that can facilitate everyday operations; the numbers, however, reveal that there is still much to be done and changed to assure the digitalization of businesses.
Among the hindering factors, there are three main ones: (1) implementation and maintenance costs; (2) integration problems; and (3) lack of team expertise.
Professionals are the key players in the trend of technology use. After all, they must be prepared and empowered to handle the changes that are to come. However, only 17% of respondents believed that professionals are prepared for digital transformation.
The problem possibly lies in the lack of clarity with regard to qualification responsibility. In fact, while some believed that the company must invest in training, others argued that specialization must be a concern of each professional.
Anyway, it’s obvious that the mindset must be changed, from operational to analytical and strategic.
See the full Live University’s study, in partnership with Thomson Reuters, by clicking here. You will know several interesting market data in detail.