Amid global disruption, procurement increasingly look to nearshoring its sourcing solutions, prizing resilience over price.

The COVID-19 crisis represented a multi-year worldwide supply chain crisis. Global lockdowns raised prices, created shortages and delays, and threw the entire procurement process into chaos. Now, the echoes of the pandemic are starting to fade. 

One might expect this to mean a return to business as usual. That the the highly distributed, low-cost-focused, just-in-time sourcing strategies of the pre-pandemic would soon return. However, even with the disruption to trade sparked by COVID-19 lockdowns in the rear view mirror, the global supply chain looks far more fragile than it did in 2019. In the face of a challenging procurement climate, organisations are increasingly nearshoring their value chains.

A challenging landscape for procurement 

Political tensions and trade disruptions continue to dampen the fire of globalised trade. Whether it be US-Sino posturing over the future of the semiconductor industry, war in Ukraine, or the Houthis’ targeting of Israeli shipping interests in the Red Sea, the movement of goods around the world has become slower, more costly, and increasingly prone to disruption.

Climate instability continues to disrupt agriculture and manufacturing. Countries in the Global South have been hit hardest of all. Extreme weather in India, the Middle East, and China has diersupted sourcing at the start of the value chain. 

It’s a dangerous cocktail. Inflation, geopolitical tensions, and over-reliance on certain countries for components has weakened supply chains. At the same time, fluctuating freight rates and port congestion have added to a growing list of pain points.

As a result, the past year has seen a growing streak of protectionism in Western procurement practices. A report conducted by Capgemini in November 2023 found that the balance between cost containment and value chain resilience was more even than ever. Almost 80% of consumer product and retail organisations are diversifying their supplier base. More importantly, 71% are actively investing in regionalising and localising their procurement.

“Friend-shoring” grows in popularity 

The anxieties of an inhospitable political climate are also driving a rise in what Capgemini describes as “friend-shoring.” This trade practice, which has similar motivations to nearshoring, is becoming increasingly popular. These organisations are shifting their business to countries regarded as political and economic allies. The upshot, they hope, will be a reduction in their source-to-pay process’ exposure to risk.

According to Lindsey Mazza, Global Retail Lead at Capgemini, “as supply chain disruptions continue to pose new challenges for retail and consumer product organisations, they are pivoting their sourcing strategies to build resilience. Balancing cost efficiencies with resilience while focusing on adopting sustainable and circular economy practices will go a long way in creating future-ready supply chains that can drive profitable growth.”

What will (and won’t) change for procurement  

In some senses, this trend will not see a fundamental restructuring of the way goods are procured. Cost is still a key driver.

If a US company purchases goods from Vietnam instead of China and ships them to the Port of Los Angeles via the Pacific, rather than shipping them from China via the Red Sea to New York & New Jersey, the broad strokes remain the same. 

However, in other cases, we can expect to see an uptick in domestic production, local sourcing, and strategic procurement. This is especially true as technology driven by big data and advanced analytics is increasingly integrated into the process. 

Mazza also notes that “Optimising inventories, localising supply chain networks and exploring alternate fulfilment options can help businesses be more prepared during this period to meet consumer expectations. Technology and data will play a key role in this – be it helping with demand sensing, automating warehouses, improving customer experiences, or ensuring efficient fulfilment.”

An overabundance of digital solutions and a dearth of trust in procurement data presents a unique challenge for CPOs.

The digitalisation of the procurement sector is well underway, with the global procurement software market set to grow by $11 billion over the next decade, with demand for cloud-based procurement solutions and automated and efficient procurement processes driving this revenue growth.

Procurement efficiency drive

However, a proliferation of digital tools across the procurement landscape points to the growing danger of inefficiency and lack of clarity when it comes to CPOs’ digital transformation strategies. A report by procurement software vendor Productiv found that “procurement and IT are being inundated with software access, vendor intake and renewal requests,” leading to a 32% uptick in the number of SaaS apps procurement departments are running, and a steadily growing workload for purchasing departments as they manage, on average, 700 vendors across various indirect procurement categories.

“This patchwork of tools across various steps of the vendor management lifecycle has created technology, team and data silos,” notes Aashish Chandarana, Chief Information Officer, Productiv. “Instead of increasing efficiency, these tech stacks start adding up to a lot of manual work to bring everything together.” The result is less time and less data to support generating meaningful insights to drive the necessary efficiencies that procurement needs to start producing for the business.

Frequently, it also seems, procurement spends so much time managing sprawling, disconnected tech stacks, that it doesn’t have the time to ensure its data is trustworthy either. A SpendHQ report found last year that “79% of non-procurement executives express limited confidence, or none at all, in utilising procurement’s data for making strategic decisions.” CPOs might recognise the critical nature of accurate data in driving decisions, but so far it seems as though the industry is struggling to ensure the accuracy and reliability of procurement data throughout the wider organisation.

Big Data potential

The potential of big data, effectively harnessed, is tremendous in the procurement process—potentially creating true visibility in otherwise murky or completely opaque value chains, highlighting opportunities for cost containment and efficiency, and helping flag risk factors that could preempt disruption.

Organisations looking to maximise the potential applications of data within their organisations need to be simultaneously mindful of the need for a decluttered tech stack and verifiable, trustworthy data if they are to avoid the pitfalls currently affecting the sector. 

By Harry Menear

Timothy Woodcock, Director of Procurement at CordenPharma, discusses the new wave of change following acquisition and amid transformation

We have a bumper issue of fascinating exclusives this month!

Corden Pharma: Powering Change

Timothy Woodcock, Director of Procurement at CordenPharma, discusses the new wave of change following acquisition and amid transformation 

Change is here, get busy. Indeed, some organisations are further along a transformation journey than others.
For CordenPharma, a Contract Development and Manufacturing Organisation (CDMO) partner, they are right on track. 

CordenPharma supports biotech and pharma innovators of complex modalities in the advancement of their drug development lifecycle. Harnessing the collective expertise of the teams across its globally integrated facility network, CordenPharma provides bespoke outsourcing services spanning the complete supply chain, from early clinical-phase development to commercialisation. Recognised as a key partner to the pharma industry, CordenPharma provides state-of-the-art know-how, an integrated product offering end-to-end capabilities from early-stage development to commercial large-scale manufacturing. 

A closer look 

Timothy Woodcock has been the Director of Procurement at CordenPharma since October 2022 and is based in Basel, Switzerland. He explains that since joining over a year ago, while it was a “good start”, he admits to discovering some surprises after closer inspection. “There was a lot of information to get to grips with at the start and it was spread wide and thin,” he tells us. “But the team is certainly key and they have helped me pull it together through solid collaboration and engagement. Of course, there were a few surprises in the process realm, but that’s what makes this challenge so interesting to me.”

Read the full story here

carbmee: Carbon management for complex supply chains

Prof. Dr. Christian Heinrich, Co-Founder at carbmee, discusses his organisation’s journey to being the trusted solution provider for carbon management.

​​carbmee means carbon excellence for complex supply chains. It is the carbon management solution for automotive, manufacturing, chemical, pharmaceuticals, medtech, hi-tech, logistics, and FMCG industries. Whether to assess emissions holistically throughout the entire company, product or suppliers, carbmee EIS™ platform can create the transparency required for uncovering optimal emissions reduction potential and at the same time, stay compliant with upcoming regulations like CBAM.

carbmee’s journey

Christian Heinrich has been the Co-Founder at the organisation since January 2021. While some executives end up in procurement and supply chain by mistake, for Heinrich he affirms it was “always” the industry for him. As far as he’s concerned, collaboration is a big piece of the puzzle and Heinrich points to his diverse experience in a range of different industries and sectors which have helped him along the way to forming carbmee. 

“This was actually one of the reasons my co-founder Robin Spickers asked me to leverage my supply chain knowledge,” he says. “Robin had expertise in sustainability areas like Product LifeCycle Assessments and I had that in procurement and supply chain. We connected together and created carbmee to have scope 1, 2 and 3 solutions for carbon accounting and carbon reduction, which also combines the lifecycle analysis.”

Read the full story here!

Hemofarm: Strength through glocal procurement

 Zorana Subasic, Director SEERU & PSCoE Cluster Procurement at Hemofarm A.D. reveals how a glocal approach is transforming procurement at the pharmaceutical… 

Zorana Subasic is all about people. She heads up procurement for Hemofarm, the largest Serbian exporter of medicinal products, with a share of more than 70% of the total pharmaceutical. It sells pharmaceutical products on four continents in 34 states and, since 2006, has been part of the multi-national pharmaceutical giant STADA Group. 

Meeting the challenges

Zorana explains that her priority is focusing on people, both within her team and in the wider company, a priority that has been even more important during the last few challenging years and has impacted her leadership style.  ”These are areas that were new for me – managing people in ‘business as usual’ times is completely different to what we’ve been through in the last two or three years. It has affected people, and how it was for me to manage people in difficult times – understanding the challenges around us and making sure that people also understand the challenges.”

Read the full story here!

Elon: Procurement as a strategic partner

Onur Dogay, CPO at Elon Group, reflects on a year of procurement evolution and making the function an indispensable partner to the organisation…

A lot can happen in a year. Just ask Onur Dogay. In late summer 2022 he arrived in Sweden from his native Turkey to take the helm of a complex and evolving procurement environment at Elon Group AB, the Nordic region’s leading voluntary trade chain for home and electronic products. That he joined just a month after a significant merger that cemented the company’s market-leading position was no coincidence. Rather, Dogay was brought on board with a specific mission: use his industry experience and passion for transforming procurement to sustain the company’s market status while spearheading growth in new areas of retail and electronics. 

And he hasn’t slowed down since. In little over 12 months, Dogay has overseen a procurement evolution that includes setting a new data strategy that’s aligned with the broader company vision, shifting procurement’s role to be less transactional and more of a strategic business partner, improving communication and partnerships both internally and externally with suppliers, and overseeing the greater use of data and technology to enhance forecasting and planning capabilities. 

A seasoned procurement professional

A glance at Dogay’s CV to date leaves little surprise at his success. He is a seasoned procurement professional, with more than 20 years’ experience in procurement leadership positions working across internationally dispersed teams in Europe. “My background is particularly strong in retail, consumer electronics, telecom, and IT business units,” he explains, “including at Arcelik, one of the world’s largest manufacturing companies, and also for one of the biggest retailers in Europe, MediaMarkt. At the time of the merger in 2022 here at Elon Group, this experience, as well as the good relationships I had with many of the suppliers and brands we work with now, was the perfect match for the company.” 

Read the full story here!

Microsoft: A sustainable supply chain transformation

In the past four years, Microsoft has gained more than 80,000 productivity hours and avoided hundreds of millions in costs. Did you miss that? That’s probably because these massive improvements took place behind the scenes as the technology giant moved to turn SC management into a major force driving efficiencies, enabling growth, and bringing the company closer to its sustainability goals. 

An exciting time

Expect changes and outcomes to continue as Dhaval Desai continues to apply the learnings from the Devices Supply Chain transformation – think Xbox, Surface, VR and PC accessories and cross-industry experiences and another to the fast-growing Cloud supply chain where demand for Azure is surging. As the Principal Group Software Engineering Manager, Desai is part of the Supply Chain Engineering organisation, the global team of architects, managers, and engineers in the US, Europe, and India tasked with developing a platform and capabilities to power supply chains across Microsoft. It’s an exciting time. Desai’s staff has already quadrupled since he joined Microsoft in 2021, and it’s still growing. Within the company, he’s on the cutting edge of technology innovation testing generative AI solutions. “We are actively learning how to improve it and move forward,” he tells us. 

Read the full story here!

Click here to read the entire magazine!

Melvin Brown, Deputy CIO at the Office of Personnel Management, explains the organisation’s ‘sprint to the cloud’ and its determination to modernise at every level.

Our cover story highlights the Office of Personnel Management’s ‘sprint to the cloud’ with technology.

Welcome to the latest issue of Interface magazine!

Interface hears from leaders who champion a people-first approach driving successful technology transformations.

Read the latest issue here!

Culture Modernisation at the Office of Personnel Management

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is a government entity which manages America’s civil service. This month’s cover story explores how an organisation that prioritises people is taking a human approach to IT. Deputy CIO Melvin Brown oversees a portfolio of $500m in programs and a growing workforce of around 300 federal employees and contractors. OPM is undergoing a major cloud transformation… “We want to be cloud-first and cloud-smart as we move forward,” he explains. “So, we created a two-year sprint to the cloud plan where we take all our major applications and move them to the cloud in order to take advantage of all the benefits that brings, from both a security and a utility perspective.”

International Trade Administration: A strategic vision for technology

The International Trade Administration (ITA) strengthens the competitiveness of U.S. industry, promotes trade and investment, and ensures fair trade through the enforcement of trade laws and agreements. We hear from its CIO Gerald Caron who is passionate about involving all stakeholders in ITA’s transformation… “We’re introducing different ways of thinking to drive innovation at the International Trade Administration (ITA). What is the art of the possible? We’re looking to explore possibilities with technology across our business units and build simple foundations for the development of more complex approaches.”

Irwin Mitchell: Technology with a human touch

Also espousing the importance of a people-centric approach, Graham Thomson, Chief Information Security Officer at Irwin Mitchell, discusses his firm’s transformative legal solutions. “We’re far more than just a law firm,” he says. “I think what sets us apart is that we’re very people focused and an organisation that genuinely cares about not only our customers but our people too. People are your biggest asset, and you have to look after them.”

State of Vermont: Using AI for good

We spoke with Shawn Nailor, Secretary and CIO at State of Vermont, about IT modernisation, tackling cybersecurity state-wide, and how AI is being used for the good of Vermonters. “We’ve got to be practitioners in order to give good guidance on how to use advanced technology and where… We want to establish a practice by which we can lead by example and show good applications or AI tools to advance services and the delivery of products.”

Also in this issue, we round up the must attend tech events; get game-changing AI, Metaverse and ‘moonshot’ insights from Lenovo, and learn why people are at the heart of the decision-making process at energy company newcleo.

Enjoy the issue!

Dan Brightmore, Editor

Welcome to the launch issue of CEOstrategy where we highlight the challenges and opportunities that come with ‘the’ leadership role

Our first cover story explores how Vodafone is leveraging strong leadership to drive the collaborations enabling businesses to champion change management and better use technology.

Welcome to the launch issue of CEOstrategy!

Tasked with accelerating business growth, while building the synergies across an organisation that can drive innovation to meet diverse customer needs and keep revenues on track, the modern CEO must be mentor, marshall and motivator on the journey to success.

Read the launch issue here!

Leadership with purpose at Vodafone

“Leadership is purpose, it’s why do you do the things you do…”

Our cover story throws the spotlight on Vodafone US CEO David Joosten; also Director for Americas & Partners Markets at Vodafone Business, he talks to CEOstrategy about leading from the front and setting the standards to deliver growth while keeping employees and customers happy.

“People follow leaders that are honest about themselves. If you can reflect on what you’ve done well, but also where you need to improve it can inspire others to do the same.”

EMCS Industries Ltd: How a CEO can navigate change management

“Why hire talent and then tell them what do? You have so much to learn from the great people you hire. Micromanaging is not management, and it’s certainly not leadership. Let your people thrive!”

Read our interview with EMCS Industries Ltd CEO Trevor Tasker for more thought-provoking insights on leadership from the shifting tides of the marine industry in this maiden issue.

How to be an authentic leader

“At the most basic human level, everyone knows what it’s like to feel heard by another person, and how that changes our behaviour. It can help anger and sadness subside and enable us to start seeing things differently. So, when employees are being listened to by their leaders, it can only help how an organisation operates.”

Dr Andrew White, director of the Advanced Management and Leadership Programme at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School and host of the Leadership 2050 podcast series, explores transformative approaches to leadership for the modern CEO.

How can CEOs drive forward culture change around diversity and inclusion?

Diane Lightfoot, CEO of Business Disability Forum, explores the changing the narrative around diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

“Disability is still often parked in the “too difficult” box when it comes to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Employers are often afraid of doing or saying the wrong thing and as a result, do or say nothing. As a CEO, the stakes feel (and often are) higher. That high profile platform can feel daunting at the best of times; when tackling an unfamiliar topic, it can feel positively overwhelming. But what we do and say as senior leaders has a huge impact. Indeed, it is critical in driving change.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-TRCm1dv6o

Also in this launch issue, we get the lowdown on agile ways of working from Kubair Shirazee, CEO of Agile transformation specialists Agilitea. Elsewhere, we speak with Nirav Patel, CEO of the consultancy firm, Bristlecone – a subsidiary of Mahindra Group and a leading provider of AI powered application transformation services for the connected supply chain – who discusses the challenges facing CPOs and supply chain leaders in our uncertain times. And we analyse the latest insights for CEOs from McKinsey and Gartner.

Enjoy the issue!

Dan Brightmore, Editor

Here are five of the biggest procurement events happening during 2023 that chief procurement officers won’t want to miss.

Procurement Futures 


London, UK  |  1-2 February 2023 

Held at the QEII Centre in central London, Procurement Futures is a new conference, launching in 2023. It promises delegates the chance to find out how to make supply chains more resilient, with thought-provoking and presentations and discussions designed to inform and inspire.

There is a flexible programme of content that can be tailored to attendees’ preferences, with networking opportunities throughout and a huge variety of sessions to attend and take part in.

This CIPS event has three streams of content: Insights, Ignite and Interact. Insights will showcase presentations and panel discussions from leaders, Ignite will consist of hands-on workshops to help delegates optimise their procurement strategies and Interact will be smaller groups taking part in interactive roundtables and debates.

Speakers across the two days will include Ross Grierson, Director of Procurement, Primark; Patrick Dunne, Director of Group Property, FM & Procurement (CPO), Sainsburys Plc; Rebecca Simpson, Procurement and Supply Chain Director, Balfour Beatty; and Nick Jenkinson, Chief Procurement Officer, Santander. In addition, delegates are ablew to book a one-to-one career workshop, where they’ll get advice on professional development from coaches covering a variety of specialisms. 

Tickets are £795 for CIPS member, £995 for a non-member and £2240 for a supplier/solution provider, and there is a discount of 30% for tickets purchased before 30 November 2022. 


3rd World Digital Procurement Summit 


Berlin, Germany  |  2-3 March 2023 

The third World Digital Procurement Summit is aimed at procurement directors, VPs, managers and other industry specialists. The two-day event will focus on accelerating procurement processes, adopting emerging technologies, finding the right talent, overcoming the barriers to progress and embarking on a journey of transformation. It’s a hybrid event, bringing together procurement experts from various industries, which will maximise knowledge exchange opportunities. The event organisers list five key learning points for delegates: 

  1. Exploring the latest advances in data and cognitive technologies to gain greater insights and improve procurement processes 
  1. Overhauling the procurement ecosystem with new technologies and strategies to drive business value 
  1. Sharing the best practices of monitoring and managing a range of risks to hedge against future disruptions 
  1. Developing capabilities and skillset required for the digital transformation of procurement 
  1. Defining ESG metrics of the procurement strategy to ensure business continuity 

Speakers will include Paul Harlington, Group Procurement Director at TUI Group and Patrick Foelck, Head of Strategy and Transformation Procurement at Roche. 

Click here to check out a video from a previous event. Tickets cost €1495. 


Women in Procurement & Supply Chain 


Sydney, Australia  |  6-8 March 2023 

Returning for its 8th annual event, Women in Procurement & Supply Chain will deliver two days dedicated to leadership and the future of procurement. The event will feature a series of exclusive panel discussions and keynote addresses examining career development, overcoming imposter syndrome, working with confidence, developing an unbeatable talent pool, mentoring, diversity and inclusivity.

It will also address risk mitigation, digital disruption, ESG, sustainability, economic development, ethical sourcing, category management, cultural diversity, strategic sourcing, supplier relationships, procurement with purpose, and supply chain resilience. There are two pre-conference masterclass options on 6 March – that can be booked separately – covering either contract law or leadership skills. 

Some of the reasons to attend include: 

  • Discover the path to taking your procurement career to a new level while elevating your organisation with dedicated days on leadership and the future of procurement 
  • Learn best practice strategies to facedown supply chain vulnerabilities and reduce risk exposure 
  • Get ahead of the game with insights into the future of procurement and the impact of globalisation on modern supply chains 
  • Put yourself at the cutting edge of ESG and procurement with the latest updates and trends in procurement with purpose 

Speakers for the main two-day conference include Michelle Richard, Director of Procurement, Thales; Karina Davies, Chief Procurement Officer, icare NSW; and Kylie McKinlay, Procurement Partner – Property and Business, Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 

Tickets start at $3,495 with discounts available until 25 November 2022. 


Americas Procurement Congress 


Miami, USA  |  21-22 March 2023 

The Americas Procurement Congress will feature the region’s most progressive CPOs sharing their expertise

With a focus on what makes CPOs tick, the Americas Procurement Congress will feature the region’s most progressive CPOs sharing their expertise in keynote presentations and working groups.

Giving delegates the tools to stay on the cutting edge of procurement developments, there are also sessions aimed at those with responsibilities over governance, procurement capabilities and quantifying data. Unsurprisingly, sustainability will also be a key theme in 2023, and attendees will hear from a diverse range of sustainability leaders about how to transition from traditional metrics to a purpose-driven function. 

The agenda for Americas Procurement Congress 2023 will include: 

  • Sustainability of the future  
  • How to transition from traditional metrics to a purpose-driven function   
  • Harnessing the power of digital transformation  
  • Utilizing data as a driver of sustainable value, supply continuity and transparency   Agile procurement  
  • New approaches and skills that facilitate speed and agility   
  • Frictionless procurement  
  • Removing friction from the procurement process to support high-velocity sourcing   
  • Beyond Just in Time 
  • Designing future-fit supply networks for an age of chaos and conflict 

Tickets start at $3649. 


Americas Procurement Congress 


Orlando, Florida  |  8–10 June 2023 

Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/Xpo 2022 addressed the most significant challenges that chief supply chain officers and supply chain leaders face as they mitigate risk and navigate uncertainty in an increasingly dynamic and challenging environment.  

At the conference, the top 5 sessions that CSCOs and supply chain leaders met on included: 

  • Signature Series: The Future of Supply Chain 
  • What the Pivot to Sustainable Profit Means for Procurement Leaders 
  • The Art of the New Age One Page Dashboard: Why Your Current Perfor-mance Measures May Be Doing More Harm Than Good 
  • Manage Supplier Risk With Technology 
  • Procurement Role Redesign: Stop Fitting Square Pegs Into Round Holes 

Tickets start at $4725. 

Expert analysis of the tech trends set to make waves this year

Digital transformation is a continuing journey of change with no set final destination. This makes predicting tomorrow a challenge when no one has a crystal ball to hand.

After a difficult few years for most businesses following a disruptive pandemic and now battling a cost-of-living crisis, many enterprises are increasingly leveraging new types of technology to gain an edge in a disruptive world. 

With this in mind, here are what experts predict for the next 12 months…


1. Process Mining


Sam Attias, Director of Product Marketing at Celonis

Sam Attias, Director of Product Marketing at Celonis, expects to see a rise in the adoption of process mining as it evolves to incorporate automation capabilities. He says process mining has traditionally been “a data science done in isolation” which helps companies identify hidden inefficiencies by extracting data and visually representing it.

“It is now evolving to become more prescriptive than descriptive and will empower businesses to simulate new methods and processes in order to estimate success and error rates, as well as recommend actions before issues actually occur,” says Attias. “It will fix inefficiencies in real-time through automation and execution management.”


2. The evolution of social robots


Gabriel Aguiar Noury, Robotics Product Manager at Canonical

Gabriel Aguiar Noury, Robotics Product Manager at Canonical, anticipates social robots to return this year. After companies such as Sony introduced robots like Poiq, Aguiar Noury believes it “sets the stage” for a new wave of social robots. 

“Powered by natural language generation models like GPT-3, robots can create new dialogue systems,” he says. “This will improve the robot’s interactivity with humans, allowing robots to answer any question. 

3d rendering cute artificial intelligence robot with empty note

“Social robots will also build narratives and rich personalities, making interaction with users more meaningful. GPT-3 also powers Dall-E, an image generator. Combined, these types of technologies will enable robots not only to tell but show dynamic stories.”


3. The rebirth of new data-powered business applications


In today’s fast-moving world, technology doesn’t sleep. Through the help of experts, we’ve compiled a need-to-know list of 23 predictions for 2023

Christian Kleinerman, Senior Vice President of Product at Snowflake, says there is the beginning of a “renaissance” in software development. He believes developers will bring their applications to central combined sources of data instead of the “traditional approach” of copying data into applications. 

“Every single application category, whether it’s horizontal or specific to an industry vertical, will be reinvented by the emergence of new data-powered applications,” affirms Kleinerman. “This rise of data-powered applications will represent massive opportunities for all different types of developers, whether they’re working on a brand-new idea for an application and a business based on that app, or they’re looking for how to expand their existing software operations.”


4. Application development will become a two-way conversation


Adrien Treuille, Head of Streamlit at Snowflake

Adrien Treuille, Head of Streamlit at Snowflake, believes application development will become a two-way conversation between producers and consumers. It is his belief that the advent of easy-to-use low-code or no-code platforms are already “simplifying the building” and sharing of interactive applications for tech-savvy and business users. 

“Based on that foundation, the next emerging shift will be a blurring of the lines between two previously distinct roles — the application producer and the consumer of that software.”

He adds that application development will become a collaborative workflow where consumers can weigh in on the work producers are doing in real-time. “Taking this one step further, we’re heading towards a future where app development platforms have mechanisms to gather app requirements from consumers before the producer has even started creating that software.”


5. The Metaverse


Paul Hardy, EMEA Innovation Officer at ServiceNow

Paul Hardy, EMEA Innovation Officer at ServiceNow, says he expects business leaders to adopt technologies such as the metaverse in 2023. The aim of this is to help cultivate and maintain employee engagement as businesses continue working in hybrid environments, in an increasingly challenging macro environment.

“Given the current economic climate, adoption of the metaverse may be slow, but in the future, a network of 3D virtual worlds will be used to foster meaningful social connections, creating new experiences for employees and reinforcing positive culture within organisations,” he says. “Hybrid work has made employee engagement more challenging, as it can be difficult to communicate when employees are not together in the same room. 

“Leaders have begun to see the benefit of hosting traditional training and development sessions using VR and AI-enhanced coaching. In the next few years, we will see more workplaces go a step beyond this, for example, offering employees the chance to earn recognition in the form of tokens they can spend in the real or virtual world, gamifying the experience.”


6. The year of ESG?


Cathy Mauzaize, Vice President, EMEA South, at ServiceNow

Cathy Mauzaize, Vice President, EMEA South, at ServiceNow, believes 2023 could be the year that environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) is vital to every company’s strategy.

“Failure to engage appropriate investment in ESG strategies could plunge any organisation into a crisis,” she says. “Legislation must be respected and so must the expectations of employees, investors and your ecosystem of partners and customers.

“ESG is not just a tick box, one and done, it’s a new way of business that will see us through 2023 and beyond.”


7. Macro Trends and Redeploying Budgets for Efficiency


Ulrik Nehammer, President, EMEA at ServiceNow, says organisations are facing an incredibly complex and volatile macro environment. Nehammer explains as the world is gripped by soaring inflation, intelligent digital investments can be a huge deflationary force.

“Business leaders are already shifting investment focus to technologies that will deliver outcomes faster,” he says. “Going into 2023, technology will become increasingly central to business success – in fact, 95% of CEOs are already pursuing a digital-first strategy according to IDC’s CEO survey, as digital companies deliver revenue growth far faster than non-digital ones.”  


8. Organisations will have adopted a NaaS strategy


David Hughes, Aruba’s Chief Product and Technology Officer

David Hughes, Aruba’s Chief Product and Technology Officer, believes that by the end of 2023, 20% of organisations will have adopted a network-as-a-service (NaaS) strategy.

“With tightening economic conditions, IT requires flexibility in how network infrastructure is acquired, deployed, and operated to enable network teams to deliver business outcomes rather than just managing devices,” he says. “Migration to a NaaS framework enables IT to accelerate network modernisation yet stay within budget, IT resource, and schedule constraints. 

“In addition, adopting a NaaS strategy will help organisations meet sustainability objectives since leading NaaS suppliers have adopted carbon-neutral and recycling manufacturing strategies.”


9. Think like a seasonal business


According to Patrick Bossman, Product Manager at MariaDB corporation, he anticipates 2023 to be the year that the ability to “scale out on command” is going to be at the fore of companies’ thoughts.

“Organisations will need the infrastructure in place to grow on command and scale back once demand lowers,” he says. “The winners in 2023 will be those who understand that all business is seasonal, and all companies need to be ready for fluctuating demand.”


10. Digital platforms need to adapt to avoid falling victim to subscription fatigue


Demed L’Her, Chief Technology Officer at DigitalRoute

Demed L’Her, Chief Technology Officer at DigitalRoute, suggests what the subscription market is going to look like in 2023 and how businesses can avoid falling victim to ‘subscription fatigue’.  L’Her says there has been a significant drop in demand since the pandemic.

“Insider’s latest research shows that as of August, nearly a third (30%) of people reported cancelling an online subscription service in the past six months,” he reveals. “This is largely due to the rising cost of living experienced globally that is leaving households with reduced budgets for luxuries like digital subscriptions. Despite this, the subscription market is far from dead, with most people retaining some despite tightened budgets. 

“However, considering the ongoing economic challenges, businesses need to consider adapting if they are to be retained by customers in the long term. The key to this is ensuring that the product adds value to the life of the customer.”


11. Waking up to browser security 


Jonathan Lee, Senior Product Manager at Menlo Security

Jonathan Lee, Senior Product Manager at Menlo Security, points to the web browser being the biggest attack surface and suggests the industry is “waking up” to the fact of where people spend the most time.

“Vendors are now looking at ways to add security controls directly inside the browser,” explains Lee. “Traditionally, this was done either as a separate endpoint agent or at the network edge, using a firewall or secure web gateway. The big players, Google and Microsoft, are also in on the act, providing built-in controls inside Chrome and Edge to secure at a browser level rather than the network edge. 

“But browser attacks are increasing, with attackers exploiting new and old vulnerabilities, and developing new attack methods like HTML Smuggling. Remote browser isolation is becoming one of the key principles of Zero Trust security where no device or user – not even the browser – can be trusted.”


12. The year of quantum-readiness


Tim Callan, Chief Experience Officer at Sectigo

Tim Callan, Chief Experience Officer at Sectigo, predicts that 2023 will be the year of quantum-readiness. He believes that as a result of the standardisation of new quantum-safe algorithms expected to be in place by 2024, this year will be a year of action for government bodies, technology vendors, and enterprise IT leaders to prepare for the deployment.

“In 2022, the US National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST) selected a set of post-quantum algorithms for the industry to standardise on as we move toward our quantum-safe future,” says Callan.

“In 2023, standards bodies like the IETF and many others must work to incorporate these algorithms into their own guidelines to enable secure functional interoperability across broad sets of software, hardware, and digital services. Providers of these hardware, software, and service products must follow the relevant guidelines as they are developed and begin preparing their technology, manufacturing, delivery, and service models to accommodate updated standards and the new algorithms.” 


13. AI: fewer keywords, greater understanding


AI expert Dr Pieter Buteneers, Director of AI and Machine Learning at Sinch

AI expert Dr Pieter Buteneers, Director of AI and Machine Learning at Sinch, expects artificial intelligence to continue to transition away from keywords and move towards an increased level of understanding.

“Language-agnostic AI, already existent within certain AI and chatbot platforms, will understand hundreds of languages — and even interchange them within a single search or conversation — because it’s not learning language like you or I would,” he says. “This advanced AI instead focuses on meaning, and attaches code to words accordingly, so language is more of a finishing touch than the crux of a conversation or search query. 

“Language-agnostic AI will power stronger search results — both from external (the internet) and internal (a company database) sources — and less robotic chatbot conversations, enabling companies to lean on automation to reduce resources and strain on staff and truly trust their AI.”


14. Rise in digital twin technology in the enterprise


John Hill, CEO and Founder of Silico

John Hill, CEO and Founder of Silico, recognises the growing influence digital twin technology is having in the market. Hill predicts that in the next 20 years, there will be a digital twin of every complex enterprise in the world and anticipates the next generation of decision-makers will routinely use forward-looking simulations and scenario analytics to plan and optimise their business outcomes.

“Digital twin technology is one of the fastest-growing facets of industry 4.0 and while we’re still at the dawn of digital twin technology,” he explains. “Digital twins will have huge implications for unlocking our ability to plan and manage the complex organisations so crucial for our continued economic progress and underpin the next generation of Intelligent Enterprise Automation.”


15. Broader tech security


Tricentis CEO, Kevin Thompson

With an exponential amount of data at companies’ fingertips, Tricentis CEO, Kevin Thompson says the need for investment in secure solutions is paramount.

“The general public has become more aware of the access companies have to their personal data, leading to the impending end of third-party cookies, and other similar restrictions on data sharing,” he explains. “However, security issues still persist. The persisting influx of new data across channels and servers introduces greater risk of infiltration by bad actors, especially for enterprise software organisations that have applications in need of consistent testing and updates. The potential for damage increases as iterations are being made with the expanding attack surface. 

“Now, the reality is a matter of when, not if, your organisation will be the target of an attack. To combat this rising security concern, organisations will need to integrate security within the development process from the very beginning. Integrating security and compliance testing at the upfront will greatly reduce risk and prevent disruptions.”


16. Increased cyber resilience 


Michael Adams, CISO at Zoom

Michael Adams, CISO at Zoom, expects an increased focus on cyber resilience over the next 12 months. “While protecting organisations against cyber threats will always be a core focus area for security programs, we can expect an increased focus on cyber resilience, which expands beyond protection to include recovery and continuity in the event of a cyber incident,” explains Adams.

“It’s not only investing resources in protecting against cyber threats; it’s investing in the people, processes, and technology to mitigate impact and continue operations in the event of a cyber incident.” 


17. Ransomware threats


Michal Salat, Threat Intelligence Director at Avast

As data leaks become increasingly common place in the industry, companies face a very real threat of ransomware. Michal Salat, Threat Intelligence Director at Avast, believes the time is now for businesses to protect themselves or face recovery fees costing millions of dollars.

“Ransomware attacks themselves are already an individual’s and businesses’ nightmare. This year, we saw cybergangs threatening to publicly publish their targets’ data if a ransom isn’t paid, and we expect this trend to only grow in 2023,” says Salat. “This puts people’s personal memories at risk and poses a double risk for businesses. Both the loss of sensitive files, plus a data breach, can have severe consequences for their business and reputation.”


18. Intensified supply chain attacks 


Dirk Schrader, VP of security research at Netwrix

Dirk Schrader, VP of security research at Netwrix, believes supply chain attacks are set to increase in the coming year. “Modern organisations rely on complex supply chains, including small and medium businesses (SMBs) and managed service providers (MSPs),” he says.

“Adversaries will increasingly target these suppliers rather than the larger enterprises knowing that they provide a path into multiple partners and customers. To address this threat, organisations of all sizes, while conducting a risk assessment, need to take into account the vulnerabilities of all third-party software or firmware.”


19. A greater need to manage volatility 


Paul Milloy, Business Consultant at Intradiem, stresses the importance of managing volatility in an ever-moving market. Milloy believes bosses can utilise data through automation to foresee potential problems before they become issues.

“No one likes surprises. Whilst Ben Franklin suggested nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes, businesses will want to automate as many of their processes as possible to help manage volatility in 2023,” he explains. “Data breeds intelligence, and intelligence breeds insight. Managers can use the data available from workforce automation tools to help them manage peaks and troughs better to avoid unexpected resource bottlenecks.”


20. A human AI co-pilot will still be needed


Artem Kroupenev, VP of Strategy at Augury, predicts that within the next few years, every profession will be enhanced with hybrid intelligence, and have an AI co-pilot which will operate alongside human workers to deliver more accurate and nuanced work at a much faster pace. 

“These co-pilots are already being deployed with clear use cases in mind to support specific roles and operational needs, like AI-driven solutions that enable reliability engineers to ensure production uptime, safety and sustainability through predictive maintenance,” he says. “However, in 2023, we will see these co-pilots become more accurate, more trusted and more ingrained across the enterprise. 

“Executives will better understand the value of AI co-pilots to make critical business decisions, and as a key competitive differentiator, and will drive faster implementation across their operations. The AI co-pilot technology will be more widespread next year, and trust and acceptance will increase as people see the benefits unfold.”


21. Building the right workplace culture


Harnessing a positive workplace culture is no easy task but in 2023 with remote and hybrid working now the norm, it brings with it new challenges. Tony McCandless, Chief Technology Officer at SS&C Blue Prism, is well aware of the role organisational culture can play in any digital transformation journey.

Workers are the heart of an organisation, so without their buy in, no digital transformation initiative stands a chance of success,” explains McCandless. “Workers drive home business objectives, and when it comes to digital transformation, they are the ones using, implementing, and sometimes building automations. Curiosity, innovation, and the willingness to take risks are essential ingredients to transformative digitalisation. 

“Businesses are increasingly recognising that their workers play an instrumental role in determining whether digitalisation initiatives are successful. Fostering the right work environment will be a key focus point for the year ahead – not only to cultivate buy-in but also to improve talent retention and acquisition, as labor supply issues are predicted to continue into 2023 and beyond.”


22. Cloud cover to soften recession concerns


Amid a cost-of-living crisis and concerns over any potential recession as a result, Daniel Thomasson, VP of Engineering and R&D at Keysight Technologies, says more companies will shift data intensive tasks to the cloud to reduce infrastructure and operational costs.

“Moving applications to the cloud will also help organisations deliver greater data-driven customer experiences,” he affirms. “For example, advanced simulation and test data management capabilities such as real-time feature extraction and encryption will enable use of a secure cloud-based data mesh that will accelerate and deepen customer insights through new algorithms operating on a richer data set. In the year ahead, expect the cloud to be a surprising boom for companies as they navigate economic uncertainty.”


23. IoT devices to scale globally


Dr Raullen Chai, CEO and Co-Founder of IoTeX, recognises a growing trend in the usage of IoT devices worldwide and believes connectivity will increase significantly. 

“For decades, Big Tech has monopolised user data, but with the advent of Web3, we will see more and more businesses and smart device makers beginning to integrate blockchain for device connectivity as it enables people to also monetise their data in many different ways, including in marketing data pools, medical research pools and more,” he explains. “We will see a growth in decentralised applications that allow users to earn a modest additional revenue from everyday activities, such as walking, sleeping, riding a bike or taking the bus instead of driving, or driving safely in exchange for rewards. 

“Living healthy lifestyles will also become more popular via decentralised applications for smart devices, especially smart watches and other health wearables.”

The digital landscape is changing day by day. Ideas like the metaverse that once seemed a futuristic fantasy are now…

The digital landscape is changing day by day. Ideas like the metaverse that once seemed a futuristic fantasy are now coming to fruition and embedding themselves into our daily lives. The thinking might be there, but is our technology really ready to go meta? Domains and hosting provider, Fasthosts, spoke to the experts to find out…

How the metaverse works

The metaverse is best defined as a virtual 3D universe which combines many virtual places. It allows users to meet, collaborate, play games and interact in virtual environments. It’s usually viewed and accessed from the outside as a mixture of virtual reality (VR), (think of someone in their front room wearing a headset and frantically waving nunchucks around) and augmented reality (AR), but it’s so much more than this…

These technologies are just the external entry points to the metaverse and provide the visuals which allow users to explore and interact with the environment within the metaverse. 

This is the ‘front-end’ if you like, which is also reinforced by artificial intelligence and 3D reconstruction. These additional technologies help to provide realistic objects in environments, computer-controlled actions and also avatars for games and other metaverse projects. 

So, what stands in the way of this fantastical 3D universe? Here are the six key challenges:

Technology

The most important piece of technology, on which the metaverse is based, is the blockchain. The blockchain is essentially a chain of blocks that contain specific information. They’re a combination of computers linked to each other instead of a central server which means that the whole network is decentralised. This provides the infrastructure for the development of metaverse projects, storage of data and also allows them the capability to be compatible with Web3. Web3 is an upgraded version of the internet which will allow integration of virtual and augmented reality into people’s everyday lives. 

Sounds like a lot, right? And it involves a great deal of tech that is alien to the vast majority of us. So, is technology a barrier to widespread metaverse adoption?

Jonothan Hunt, Senior Creative Technologist at Wunderman Thompson, says the tech just isn’t there. Yet.

“Technology’s readiness for the mass adoption of the metaverse depends on how you define the metaverse, but if we’re talking about the future vision that the big tech players are sharing, then not yet. The infrastructure that powers the internet and our devices isn’t ready for such experiences. The best we have right now in terms of shared/simulated spaces are generally very expensive and powered entirely in the cloud, such as big computers like the Nvidia Omniverse, cloud streaming, or games. These rely heavily on instancing and localised grouping. Consumer hardware, especially XR, is still not ready for casual daily use and still not really democratised.

“The technology for this will look like an evolution of the systems above, meaning more distributed infrastructure, better access and updated hardware. Web3 also presents a challenge in and of itself, and questions remain over to what extent big tech will adopt it going forward.”

Storage

Blockchain is the ‘back-end’, where the magic happens, if you will. It’s this that will be the key to the development and growth of the metaverse. There are a lot of elements that make up the blockchain and reinforce its benefits and uses such as storage capabilities, data security and smart contracts. 

Due to its decentralised nature, the blockchain has far more storage capacity than the centralised storage systems we have in place today. With data on the metaverse being stored in exabytes, the blockchain works by making use of unutilised hard disk space across the network, which avoids users within the metaverse running out of storage space worldwide. 

In terms that might be a bit more relatable, an exabyte is a billion gigabytes. That’s a huge amount of storage, and that doesn’t just exist in the cloud – it’s got to go somewhere – and physical storage servers mean land is taken up, and energy is used. Hunt says: “How long’s a piece of string? The whole of the metaverse will one day be housed in servers and data centres, but the amount or size needed to house all of this storage will be entirely dependent on just how mass adopted the metaverse becomes. Big corporations in the space are starting to build huge data centres – such as Meta purchasing a $1.1 billion campus in Toledo, Spain to house their new Meta lab and data centre – but the storage space is not the only concern. These energy-guzzlers need to stay cool! And what about people and brands who need reliable web hosting for events, gaming or even just meeting up with pals across the world, all that information – albeit virtual – still needs a place to go.

“The current rising cost of electricity worldwide could cause problems for the growth of data centres, and the housing of the metaverse as a whole. However, without knowing the true size of its adoption, it is extremely difficult to truly determine the needed usage. Could we one day see an entire island devoted to data centre storage? Purely for the purposes of holding the metaverse? It seems a little ‘1984’, but who knows?”

Identity

Although the blockchain provides instantaneous verification of transactions with identity through digital wallets, our physical form will be represented by avatars that visually reflect who we are, and how we want to be seen. 

The founder of Saxo Bank and the chairman of the Concordium Foundation, Lars Seier Christensen, argues, “I think that if you use an underlying blockchain-based solution where ID is required at the entry point, it is actually very simple and automatically available for relevant purposes. It is also very secure and transparent, in that it would link any transactions or interactions where ID is required to a trackable record on the blockchain.”

Once identity is established, it is true that it could potentially become easier to assess creditworthiness of parties for purchasing and borrowing in the metaverse due to the digital identity and storage of each individual’s data and transactions on the blockchain. However, although it sounds exciting, there must be considerations into how it could impact privacy, and how this amount of data will be recorded on the blockchain. 

Security

There are also huge security benefits to this set up. The decentralised blockchain helps to eradicate third-party involvement and data breaches, such as theft and file manipulation, thanks to its powerful data processing and use of validation nodes. Both of these are responsible for verifying and recording transactions on the blockchain. This will be reassuring to many, given the widespread concerns around data privacy and user protection in the metaverse.

To access the blockchain all we will need is an internet connection and a device, such as a laptop or smartphone, this is what makes it so great as it will be so readily available. However, to support the blockchain, we’re relying on a whole different set of technologies.  Akash Kayar, CEO of web3-focused software development company Leeway Hertz, had this to say on the readiness of the current technology available: “The metaverse is not yet completely mature in terms of development. Tech experts are researching strategies and

testing the various technologies to develop ideas that provide the world with more feasible and intriguing metaverse projects.

“Projects like Decentraland, Axie Infinity, and Sandbox are popular contemporary live metaverse projects. People behind these projects made perfect use of notable metaverse technologies, from blockchain and cryptos to NFTs.

“As envisioned by top tech futurists, many new technologies will empower the metaverse in the future, which will support the development of a range of prolific use cases that will improve the ability of the metaverse towards offering real-life functionalities. In a nutshell, the metaverse is expected to bring extreme opportunities for enterprises and common users. Hence, it will shape the digital future.”

Currency & Payments

Whilst it’s only considered legal tender in two countries, cryptocurrency is currently a reality and there is a strong likelihood that it will eventually be mass adopted. However, the metaverse is arguably not yet at the same maturity level, meaning cryptocurrency may have to wait before it can finally fully take off. 

Golden Bitcoin symbol and finance graph screen. Horizontal composition with copy space. Focused image.

There is no doubt that cryptocurrency and the metaverse will go hand-in-hand as the former will become the tender of the latter with many of the current metaverse platforms each wielding its native currency. For example Decentraland uses $MANA for payments and purchases. However, with the volatility of crypto currencies and the recent collapse of trading platform FTX indicating security lapses, we may not yet be ready for the switch to decentralised payments. 

Energy

Some of the world’s largest data centres can each contain many tens of thousands of IT devices which require more than 100 megawatts of power capacity – this is enough to power around 80,000 U.S. households (U.S. DOE 2020) and is equivalent to $1.35bn running cost per data centre with the cost of a megawatt hour averaging $150. 

According to Nitin Parekh of Hitachi Energy, the amount of power which takes to process Bitcoin is higher than you might expect: “Bitcoin consumes around 110 Terawatt Hours per year. This is around 0.5% of global electricity generation. This estimate considers combined computational power used to mine bitcoin and process transactions.” With this estimate, we can calculate that the annual energy cost of Bitcoin is around $16.5bn. 

However, some bigger corporations are slowly moving towards renewable energy to power their projects in this space, with Google signing close to $2bn worth of wind and solar investments in order to power its data centres in the future and become greener. Amazon has also followed in their footsteps and have become the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy. 

They may have plenty of time yet to get their green processes in place, with Mark Zuckerberg recently predicting it will take nearly a decade for the metaverse to be created: “I don’t think it’s really going to be huge until the second half of this decade at the earliest.”

About Fasthosts

Fasthosts has been a leading technology provider since 1999, offering secure UK data centres, 24/7 support and a highly successful reseller channel. Fasthosts provides everything web professionals need to power and manage their online space, including domains, web hosting, business-class email, dedicated servers, and a next-generation cloud platform. For more information, head to www.fasthosts.co.uk

The Top Procurement Events for the first quarter of 2023.

Top Procurement Events for 2023

Hear from industry experts and keep up-to-date with the latest innovation in procurement by adding these upcoming, must visit, procurement events to your calendar in the first quarter of 2023.


ICSCM2023, 4th International Conference on Supply Chain Management

Macau, China | 13-15 January 2023


This academic conference – co-located with the International Conference on Computers in Management and Business – describes its main purpose as providing an international platform for presenting and publishing the latest scientific research outcomes on supply chain management. There will be opportunities for delegates to exchange new ideas, and to network with others, alongside the conference sessions. There is an optional tour, still to be confirmed, on the third day of the event.

Keynote speakers include Fugee TSUNG, Professor, HKUST (Guangzhou), Hong Kong, and Kwong Meng Teo, Senior Scientist, Huawei Technologies, 2012 Research Labs, China.


8th Annual Strategic Sourcing & Procurement MENA Summit

Dubai, UAE 24-25 | January 2023


Another hybrid event, the Strategic Sourcing & Procurement MENA Summit will offer delegates information on addressing current procurement challenges, focusing on areas such as category management, cost optimisation and risk mitigation. There will be case studies and discussions on e-procurement, plus solutions-based sessions on leadership in procurement.

Speakers will include experts from leading banks, telecoms, airlines, hotels, retailers, and other cross-industry companies, such as Emmanuel Augustin, Vice President Supply Chain Management | CPO, Dubai Airports and Kazim Duman, Director of Procurement, Rixos Hotels.

The agenda will cover:

  • Building a Sustainable Future
  • Risk Mitigation and Management
  • Prioritizing ESG: Procurement’s Role in Standardizing Sustainability
  • Cost Reduction and Value Generation
  • Talent Development and Acquisition Role in Strategic Sourcing and Procurement
  • From Good to Great in Digital Transformation
  • Leadership in Procurement Management
  • The Future of the Strategic Sourcing and Procurement

Procurement Futures London

UK | 1-2 February 2023


Held at the QEII Centre in central London, Procurement Futures is a new conference, launching in 2023. It promises delegates the chance to find out how to make supply chains more resilient, with thought-provoking and presentations and discussions designed to inform and inspire.

There is a flexible programme of content that can be tailored to attendees’ preferences, with networking opportunities throughout and a huge variety of sessions to attend and take part in. This CIPS event has three streams of content: Insights, Ignite and Interact. Insights will showcase presentations and panel discussions from leaders, Ignite will consist of hands-on workshops to help delegates optimise their procurement strategies and Interact will be smaller groups taking part in interactive roundtables and debates.

Speakers across the two days will include Ross Grierson, Director of Procurement, Primark; Patrick Dunne, Director of Group Property, FM & Procurement (CPO), Sainsburys Plc; Rebecca Simpson, Procurement and Supply Chain Director, Balfour Beatty; and Nick Jenkinson, Chief Procurement Officer, Santander.

In addition, delegates are able to book a one-to-one career workshop, where they’ll get advice on professional development from coaches covering a variety of specialisms.


3rd World Digital Procurement Summit

Berlin, Germany | 2-3 March 2023


The third World Digital Procurement Summit is aimed at procurement directors, VPs, managers and other industry specialists. The two-day event will focus on accelerating procurement processes, adopting emerging technologies, finding the right talent, overcoming the barriers to progress and embarking on a journey of transformation. It’s a hybrid event, bringing together procurement experts from various industries, which will maximise knowledge exchange opportunities. The event organisers list five key learning points for delegates:

  1. Exploring the latest advances in data and cognitive technologies to gain greater insights and improve procurement processes
  2. Overhauling the procurement ecosystem with new technologies and strategies to drive business value
  3. Sharing the best practices of monitoring and managing a range of risks to hedge against future disruptions
  4. Developing capabilities and skillsets required for the digital transformation of procurement
  5. Defining ESG metrics of the procurement strategy to ensure business continuity

Speakers will include Paul Harlington, Group Procurement Director at TUI Group and Patrick Foelck, Head of Strategy and Transformation Procurement at Roche.


Women in Procurement & Supply Chain

Sydney, Australia | 6-8 March 2023


Returning for its 8th annual event, Women in Procurement & Supply Chain will deliver two days dedicated to leadership and the future of procurement. The event will feature a series of exclusive panel discussions and keynote addresses examining career development, overcoming imposter syndrome, working with confidence, developing an unbeatable talent pool, mentoring, diversity and inclusivity. It will also address risk mitigation, digital disruption, ESG, sustainability, economic development, ethical sourcing, category management, cultural diversity, strategic sourcing, supplier relationships, procurement with purpose, and supply chain resilience. There are two pre-conference masterclass options on 6 March – that can be booked separately – covering either contract law or leadership skills.

Some of the reasons to attend include:

  • Discover the path to taking your procurement career to a new level while elevating your organisation with dedicated days on leadership and the future of procurement
  • Learn best practice strategies to facedown supply chain vulnerabilities and reduce risk exposure
  • Get ahead of the game with insights into the future of procurement and the impact of globalisation on modern supply chains
  • Put yourself at the cutting edge of ESG and procurement with the latest updates and trends in procurement with purpose

Speakers for the main two-day conference include Michelle Richard, Director of Procurement, Thales; Karina Davies, Chief Procurement Officer, icare NSW; and Kylie McKinlay, Procurement Partner – Property and Business, Australian Broadcasting Corporation.


Americas Procurement Congress

Miami, USA | 21-22 March 2023


With a focus on what makes CPOs tick, the Americas Procurement Congress will feature the region’s most progressive CPOs sharing their expertise in keynote presentations and working groups. Giving delegates the tools to stay on the cutting edge of procurement developments, there are also sessions aimed at those with responsibilities over governance, procurement capabilities and quantifying data. Unsurprisingly, sustainability will also be a key theme in 2023, and attendees will hear from a diverse range of sustainability leaders about how to transition from traditional metrics to a purpose-driven function.

The agenda for Americas Procurement Congress 2023 will include:

  • Sustainability of the future
  • How to transition from traditional metrics to a purpose-driven function
  • Harnessing the power of digital transformation
  • Utilizing data as a driver of sustainable value, supply continuity and transparency
  • Agile procurement
  • New approaches and skills that facilitate speed and agility
  • Frictionless procurement
  • Removing friction from the procurement process to support high-velocity sourcing
  • Beyond Just in Time
  • Designing future-fit supply networks for an age of chaos and conflict

The right time to digitalise the supply chain and reap the multiple benefits is now.

As the global components shortage continues to challenge businesses, the value of a digitalised supply chain becomes increasingly clear. As the return to normal supply levels is still some way off and the situation is not expected to recover until 2023, the time to digitalise the supply chain and reap the multiple benefits is now. Whereas once supply chain digitalisation provided a competitive edge, it has since become an industry standard required to keep pace in an evolving industry with unpredictable challenges. 

The benefits of digitalisation 

Make no mistake, digitalising a business’ supply chain is not an easy task and is by no means a quick fix. It takes extensive research and planning before any updates can be made and once the transformation is underway, businesses are constantly learning and improving their operations based on feedback and data collected. 

However, the business benefits of a digitalised supply chain validate the time and effort required to undergo a digital transformation of supply chain management. 

Improved accuracy and efficiency are two of the most impactful factors of supply chain digitalisation. With real-time tracking and the removal of human error through software-led processes, businesses gain complete transparency of operations at every stage of the supply chain. 

Software-led processes and the introduction of automation can also result in reduced processing time, greater operational productivity and maximised ROI. If the old saying rings true and ‘time is money’, then improved efficiency with greater accuracy can only be a good thing for business. 

Greater flexibility and agility in responding to change is another valuable benefit brought by a digitalised supply chain. As many businesses have already experienced, supply and demand fluctuations can be rapid and circumstances outside of a business’ control can also affect supply chain management. 

Though there will always be some element of the unexpected, technology such as automated stock management and predictive analytics support in the identification and handling of upcoming challenges. Armed with both big data and data specifics at a more granular level, businesses can make better-informed decisions, manage a crisis more effectively and identify areas of improvement and opportunity, at all times. 

Making it happen 

Every digital transformation requires a strategy and there are multiple achievements to celebrate on the way to reaching the end goal of holistic supply chain digitalisation. Identifying the areas which need priority attention will help structure your strategy. Your digitalisation plan should be a series of incremental improvements, as opposed to a sudden and radical change. 

Auditing your existing supply chain is a sensible starting point for discovering opportunities for improvement, establishing strengths and weaknesses, and honing in on risk factors and threats to your operations. 

Using the knowledge and expertise of IT professionals within your business and operations management staff who are familiar with the everyday running of each stage of the supply chain is the best way to gain a clear insight into which aspects of the chain are strong and which are letting you down. 

Your operation management team will also be the ones using your new digitalised supply chain so gaining their insight, expertise and buy-in from the start of the project is highly valuable for future success. 

Software Implementation  

Software is at the heart of supply chain digitalisation and businesses are spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting digital logistics and supply-chain-management software (SCMS) that can oversee transactions, manage relationships with suppliers and streamline your processes. 

There is a challenge however when it comes to deciding whether to build or buy your software solution.  

Though ready-made software is the quicker and more simple option, out-of-the-box solutions may not meet the exact needs of your business and customised plugins or add-ons may be required to tailor your solution exactly as you require. 

The alternative would be to build your own software in-house, which takes a huge chunk of existing resources, adding pressure to already busy teams. 

Arguably outsourcing a custom-built solution from a reputable partner, who fully understands your pain points, risk factors and overall transformation strategy is the best way to gain a tailor-made software solution whilst keeping everyday operations running smoothly.  

Harnessing the power of real-time data, automation and AI 

Real-time data should be gathered at numerous points in the supply chain and can be gathered through a range of methods. From IoT devices to Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and GPS, the data gathered by these technologies improves your supply chain connectivity at every step. 

This data also facilitates increased visibility, improved security, cost analysis insights and accountability. From production to distribution to retail, IoT, RFID and GPS provide efficiency, transparency and data-driven insights to help businesses maximize ROI and continue to improve operations. 

Automation and AI also support in the processing of payments, the rapid sharing of information, inventory updates, tracking information, omnichannel retail sales, email automation and setting new cost goals.

Although these technologies will never entirely replace the human touch, they can assist with repetitive, manual tasks and be the first point of contact for customers which can direct customers to the correct individual or department. 

SCMS systems can integrate real-time data, automation and AI into supply chains on each level, streamlining processes to be more efficient, making more accurate predictions and protecting a business should something unforeseeable occur. 

Realising Industry 4.0 

Ultimately, digitalising the supply chain, however, your business chooses to do so is the realisation of the Industry 4.0 vision which hinges on leveraging digital technology without siloed data, processes and systems. 

The pillars of Industry 4.0 namely IoT, big data and data analytics are the main aspects to be updated in any supply chain digitalisation and taking a comprehensive approach to digitalising the supply chain means data is no longer siloed and useless but is integrated into every business decision, under any circumstance. 

A supply chain digital twin is also a helpful tool which provides a detailed simulation of an actual supply chain using real-time data and snapshots to forecast supply chain dynamics. From this, businesses can understand their supply chain’s behaviour, predict abnormal situations, and work out an action plan. The most effective supply chain management sees digitalisation throughout and can also call upon the use of digital twins to simulate the supply chain and enable the whole ecosystem to enjoy the same level of visibility and forecasting to inform every stage of the supply chain. 

Though investment in time and money, the benefits of digitalisation are evident not only in reacting to unexpected challenges but also in the day-to-day running of a business which wants to keep pace and remain competitive in the digital age. 

Author: Rasheed Mohamad, Executive Vice President of Global Operations and Business Technology, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise 

Our cover story this month explores how Wei Li, Vice President & GM for AI & Analytics at Intel, and his team are powering Artificial Intelligence to enable the digital journey from data to insights

This month’s cover story explores Intel’s AI technologies powering the digital journey from data to insights…

Welcome to the latest issue of Interface magazine!

In this issue of Interface, we speak with a diverse group of tech leaders blazing a trail that others can follow to navigate the journey towards transformation.

Read the latest issue here!

Intel: AI Everywhere

We met with this month’s cover star Wei Li at the AI Summit during London Tech Week where Intel’s AI & Analytics leader delivered a compelling keynote speech and explained how the tech leader is powering Artificial Intelligence to enable the digital journey from data to insights.

“AI Everywhere means that anybody should be able to apply and use AI,” says Li, explaining the pledge Intel has made to further democratise the use of technologies such as AI. “We provide not only the hardware for AI, but also AI software and solutions for everyone to accelerate their data to insights journey. Software is the bridge between hardware and the millions of developers and billions of users.”

London Tech Week

During London Tech Week Chris Philp MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), discussed the launch of the UK’s Digital Strategy with an expert panel. We take a look at what this means for Britain’s approach to expanding the reach of its digital economy to drive growth, boost productivity and create more better-paid jobs.

ENGIE: collaboration through data

We speak with ENGIE’s Group Chief Analytics Officer Thierry Grima, who outlines the extraordinary data transformation the global utility giant is going through, and how the ground-breaking data connection of 170,000 global team members is benefiting the business. “As a business, we need to unlock the value of data because it’s no longer a competitive advantage. It’s just a necessity.”

Elsewhere, Jim Brady from Fairview Health Services reveals how his dual role as CISO and VP Information Security & Infrastructure/Operations is uniting security and operational technology to break down silos and drive a transformation with people power at its heart. “I love people, helping them and interacting with them in a positive way. There are several hundred people on my team, but I still spend time with them one-on-one and in small groups, even now that we’re largely working remotely.”

Also in this issue, S. M. Jaleel’s CIO Teoman Buyan explains how the right company culture can drive a positive technology transformation and Sal Laher, Chief Digital & Information Officer at global enterprise software provider IFS, talks about the importance of developing a more environmentally friendly approach to technology that weaves sustainability into the software fabric.

Enjoy the issue!

Dan Brightmore, Editor

EyeCare Partners works in partnership with clinicians and healthcare leaders to achieve the best patient and business outcomes and this…

EyeCare Partners works in partnership with clinicians and healthcare leaders to achieve the best patient and business outcomes and this has had dramatic results, such as a 1,500% revenue growth since 2015.

EyeCare Partners is growing through acquisitions, by providing strategic capital and operational support to its network of partner practices in 680 locations across 18 states. In February 2020, this growth was boosted when Swiss private equity firm Partners Group acquired a controlling stake in EyeCare Partners. “They’re a very interesting group,” he says. “They’re very heavy on investment, plus they have a very, very impenetrable and robust sustainability platform too, which is very near and dear to my heart through my time at Unilever,” This level of growth is fuelled significantly by increasing demand for eye care over the longer term, driven by an ageing US population and an increased incidence rate of eye diseases. But this level of growth requires an agile and resilient operational enterprise.

This month’s cover story reveals the cycles of transformation, being led by CDO Lucho Torres, which are driving the disruptive digital journey at Peru’s second largest financial services group

This month’s cover story reveals reveals the cycles of transformation driving the disruptive digital journey at Scotiabank Peru, the country’s second largest financial services group.

Welcome to the latest issue of Interface magazine!

A customer-centric vision is often an important factor in the journey towards a digital transformation where a commitment to continuous improvement can bring scalability and lasting growth. Interface taps the brains behind some of the biggest tech successes happening across the globe today…

Read the latest issue here!

Scotiabank Peru

Lucho Torres, SVP & Chief Digital Officer at Scotiabank Peru is on a mission to leverage the trust in a global banking leader founded in 1832 and lead a transformation to create “the most relevant, simple and fast digital bank for consumers and businesses” across Peru. “The challenge was to build a digital bank with scalability and sustainability. We have created a customer-centric value proposition by building and taking to the market our own digital platforms and financial products to deliver personalised and intuitive customer experiences.”

IBM

We speak with IBM’s AI & Data guru Jean-Philippe Desbiolles who gives us a fascinating overview of his book AI Will be What you Make of It: The 10 Golden Rules of Artificial Intelligence. “I am passionate about the fact that at IBM we are transforming businesses by leveraging technologies in a broad sense of the word. And one of those key technologies is Artificial Intelligence.” Listen to our podcast with Jean-Philippe here or you can watch it below…

Digital Transformation in healthcare, education and telecomms

Also in this issue, Michael Haenelt, CIO at the Weed Army Community Hospital tells us the story of the development of a state-of-the-art medical facility at Ft Irwin, in California’s remote Mojave Desert, where a commitment to digital transformation is at the beating heart of the organisation.

Elsewhere, Michelle Murphy, superintendent of the Rim of the World Unified School District, reflects on 34 years in education and the way technology has driven change; talk with Tecnotree CEO Padma Ravichander about how the global provider of IT solutions for telcos is empowering digital communities; and hear the story of a unique challenge to digitise the self-sufficient City of Medicine Hat in Canada.

Enjoy the issue!

Dan Brightmore, Editor

Ericsson organised a dedicated virtual event, Ericsson Digital Unboxed 2021, for Jazz Pakistan, to share its thoughts on industry leadership…

Ericsson organised a dedicated virtual event, Ericsson Digital Unboxed 2021, for Jazz Pakistan, to share its thoughts on industry leadership and discuss digital infrastructure.

Ericsson’s global and regional experts and thought leaders showcased the latest insights, use cases and technologies tailored to Jazz Pakistan.

During the virtual event, Ericsson shared its technology vision and updates, and also discussed the possibilities for consumer and enterprise segments. It delved into several topics revolving around creating a differentiated user experience for sports, spectrum strategies, and dedicated networks with a focus on B2B segments.

As part of the event, the latest Ericsson ConsumerLab reports were also presented and discussed. Several demos were also part of the event like Edge Compute Gaming, where low latency access can enable a better gaming experience, and Ericsson Industry Connect, a channel-ready cellular network for factories and warehouses, built to streamline ordering, installation, and management for Enterprise IT.

Abdul R. Usmani, VP of Network, Jazz said: “Digitalisation is everywhere and is now part of our daily lives. At Jazz, we aim to provide state-of-the-art end-to-end services to our customers, focused on data-driven networks as well as the need to accelerate technology advancements in the areas of AI, FinTech and digital content.

“The Ericsson Unboxed event showcased several valuable insights which will accelerate the next phase to meet the evolving demands of connectivity. We are looking forward to more insights and are confident in the next step of the digitalisation journey.”

Ekow Nelson, Vice President of Ericsson Middle East and Africa and Head of Ericsson Pakistan added: “Ericsson’s partnership with Jazz spans over many years with several recent wins and shared successes in the areas of network rollout and digital services. Our world is witnessing challenging times due to COVID-19 and connectivity has never been more critical than ever.

“At Ericsson, we endeavor to automate and accelerate our networks and technology to meet the demands of an ever-changing world. We are working closely with Jazz to provide the best possible connectivity, ensuring that Jazz networks run optimally as demand grows and the need for digitalization expedites.”

UtterBerry, a tech giant whose innovations have been used on some of the largest infrastructure projects in the world, is…

UtterBerry, a tech giant whose innovations have been used on some of the largest infrastructure projects in the world, is bringing some of its operations to Leeds, Yorkshire, creating 800 jobs – as reported by the Yorkshire Post.

The business’s primary objective is producing sensors which monitor the movements of infrastructure – for example, bridges and tunnels – in real time. It allows those working on the infrastructure to be warned in advance if anything’s wrong, preventing potential accidents.

The new Leeds hub will also design and manufacturer contactless COVID-19 symptom scanners. UtterBerry is aiming to roll these out across the globe.

Heba Bevan, founder and CEO of UtterBerry, is keen to help those who lost their jobs during the pandemic find meaningful work again, and to attract more women into a typically male-dominated industry.

“What attracted me to Leeds was I knew there was a huge amount of talent around Yorkshire because you have got amazing universities,” she said.

“There is a huge pool of undergraduate and graduate talent.

“Engineers want to do good and provide sustainable developments. The pandemic showed us just how much we are lacking in manufacturing.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said that the investment was “fantastic news for Leeds”.

As reported by DroneLife, Verizon has launched a Robotics Business Technology Division in a bid to involve itself further in…

As reported by DroneLife, Verizon has launched a Robotics Business Technology Division in a bid to involve itself further in the unmanned sector.

Verizon states that it “expands enterprise solutions for drones and ground robotics”.

It acquired Skyward, a drone management company, in 2017 and has since used drones for emergency response and the maintenance of its own network.

It has also worked closely with businesses like UPS or delivery projects, and to leverage the power of 5G.

The new division will continue to enable autonomous solutions for Verizon.

“Enterprises in many industries are adopting drones and ground robots to gather data, survey and monitor infrastructure, and automate logistics operations,” says Mariah Scott, Head of Robotics Business Technology.

“By integrating these fleets with one operational platform, and leveraging Verizon’s advanced connectivity solutions, businesses can speed up time to insight, increase automation of their operations and deliver greater value.”

“Robots are a critical aspect of the 5G future. The formation of this new business unit will accelerate the symbiotic relationship between humans and machines, paving the way for Verizon to transform the way businesses approach innovation and the future of work,” adds Elise Neel, VP of New Business Incubation.

“Our talented team of roboticists will leverage the power of Verizon’s network, paired with the sophistication of next-generation software, to orchestrate and unify robotic experiences. This work will help deliver on the promise of making the fourth industrial revolution a reality.”

According to a new study, technology could create a way for indigenous communities in the Amazon to curb deforestation in…

According to a new study, technology could create a way for indigenous communities in the Amazon to curb deforestation in a major way, as reported by the BBC.

Conservationist groups have supplied indigenous citizens of the Peruvian Amazon with satellite data and smart phones to allow them to monitor the removal of trees. As a result, tree losses have been halved in the first year of the project.

The researchers wanted to see if putting information directly into the hands of those living in the forests themselves could make a difference to the rapid deforestation that has plagued these areas for decades – with great success.

The controlled study was randomised, using 76 remote villages in the Amazon, with 36 randomly-assigned people participating.

Thirty-seven other communities served as a control group, where normal forest management resumed.

When suspected deforestation was picked up by satellite information, coordinates and photos were loaded onto USB drives and delivered up the Amazon river. Then, the data was downloaded onto apps which would show the participants the locations.

It could then be confirmed whether or not the deforestation was unauthorised, and community members would decide on the best approach. If drug dealers were involved, they could decide whether to report to law enforcers. Otherwise, they would intervene directly.

“It’s quite a sizeable impact,” said Jacob Kopas, an independent researcher and an author on the paper. “We saw evidence of fewer instances of tree cover loss in the programme communities compared with control communities.

“On average, those communities managed to avert 8.8 hectares of deforestation within the first year. But the communities that were most threatened, the ones that had more deforestation in the past were the ones pulling more weight and were reducing deforestation more than in others.”

Indigenous groups welcomed the research. “The study provides evidence that supporting our communities with the latest technology and training can help reduce deforestation in our territories,” said Jorge Perez Rubio, the president of the Loreto regional indigenous organization (ORPIO), where the study was carried out.

A financial health check with a professional qualified to give advice is an investment in your future…

Nick Gornall, Head of Business Development at Wealth Management Specialists Arbuthnot Latham discusses the recent shift from advice to self-serve across the financial services sector due to the impact of technology and the arrival of new players in the fintech space disrupting the traditional houses.

Anyone who enjoys reading about politics or listens to leaders seeking election may raise a smile when they are given the definition of the Dunning-Kruger effect which is a cognitive bias that causes people to overestimate their knowledge or ability particularly in areas where they have no experience. 

While we should celebrate the broader access to financial education and the fact that information on global markets, tax and jurisdictional issues and wealth planning solutions is more available now than ever before, I’m wary about the implications this shift could have on long term financial plans.

Seeking and receiving good financial advice is something that we should be celebrating. Like mental and physical wellbeing, having a financial health check with a professional qualified to give advice is an investment in your future. 

The benefits can be enormous from saved tax, to ensuring your loved ones are financially secure, aligning your investment plans to your goals for the future and managing the level of volatility you want from financial assets. Creating a plan with a desired outcome can help you feel in control and confident for your – and your loved ones’ – financial future.

But despite these benefits, I come back to the subject of behavioural bias. It is a uniquely human foible that can cloud our judgement add a prejudice or insert an illogical preference – here are three biases that I have observed the most in over 35 years in the industry.

Status Quo syndrome; the inherent danger of doing nothing. The suggestion that the plans you have today will meet your needs in the future. Whilst a global pandemic might make you stop and think, leaving matters to another day means that you may miss opportunities – from maximising tax and pension allowances to IHT mitigation, or pre-structuring a business sale – having regular financial advice means that your financial plan can adapt to your changing circumstances. Having a plan also allows you to use multiple advisers and change advisers if you deem it right for you as the plan will capture your financial journey as you go.

The lack of inter-generational communication – there are many reasons that family wealth is often lost within just three generations. Some of them are external forces outside of our control like economic and financial market risk and for some political risk – but the real reason wealth succession often goes wrong is because of the lack of communication and trust between family members. We simply don’t talk enough and for many of the next generation we do not prepare them to inherit. Using an intermediary or an advocate means that decisions and advice get recorded and can be more easily shared – an impartial third party can also assist with cross family communication.

The IKEA effect – The tendency for people to place a disproportionately high value on objects that they partially assembled themselves, (such as furniture from IKEA) regardless of the quality of the end product. This is common in particular around the perceived value of property as an asset class – it is often much easier simply to stick to what you know. Using a financial adviser allows greater access to a means of diversifying which brings value by reducing the overall volatility of investment assets but also opens up potential to build trust and knowledge in a broader range of investments. 

So let’s celebrate the pace of change in the financial services sector the improvements in technology bringing cheaper easier access and a greater range of choice – but also do not forget that financial advice remains a vital part of the equation to help to maintain your family’s financial health despite there being behavioural biases that might prevent us from helping ourselves. 

An exclusive podcast with Steve Morgan, Partnership Director at Agilisys, who reveals how digital transformation and big data can help…

An exclusive podcast with Steve Morgan, Partnership Director at Agilisys, who reveals how digital transformation and big data can help both social, and healthcare, post-Covid. Through digital technology, Agilisys enables healthcare, local government and organisations throughout the public sector to become more efficient, provide better patient and citizen outcomes and improve the working lives of thousands of dedicated staff.

Gracing our front cover is Oksana Glavachek, Chief Procurement & Administrative  Officer at VF Ukraine.  In our exclusive feature, Glavachek…

Gracing our front cover is Oksana Glavachek, Chief Procurement & Administrative  Officer at VF Ukraine. 

In our exclusive feature, Glavachek details how the rapidly evolving telco industry and the market demands in Ukraine have created great challenges for companies and their procurement functions and even greater opportunities.

 “The Telco industry is one of the most investment-hungry industries in the world,” she explains. “To establish a Telco Company you have to make a huge investment in setting up a network first of all and then you must make significant annual investments in the expansion and maintenance of that network due to continuous technology development and tougher market competition.”

Elsewhere, Jan Clysner, VP of Procurement and Sustainability, explores how procurement and sustainability go hand in hand as the company looks to create a better world.

“One is connected with the other. It’s not that procurement is a different animal from sustainability. They’re very closely connected and going forward, I see the connection growing further and getting closer and closer”

We also look at how we define strategic procurement with Jeremy Bowley of Insider Pro, Dave Ingram, CPO for Unilever, discusses how the company is putting its money where its mouth is and making real, lasting sustainable change through procurement and we look at five key learnings from WMG at The University of Warwick and Blue Yonder’s  the Supply Chain Digital Readiness in Retail report.

Enjoy the issue!

G20 leaders have an opportunity to develop policy responses to the pandemic that immediately address women’s roles in healthcare, unpaid care and the workforce.

Amidst a COVID-19 pandemic that is expected to cause an unprecedented global economic downturn, UN Women, the UN entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, and Women 20 (W20), the official G20 engagement group on women, have called on G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to put women at the heart of recovery efforts. In a joint statement, both groups called on addressing women’s distinct economic roles, contributions and constraints, and seizing the opportunity to put women at the centre of investment design to realise sustainable recovery.

Women contribute 37% of the global GDP. Moreover, all types of women’s care work, including unpaid work, generate $11 trillion globally (nine per cent of global GDP). Enabling women’s potential fully and equally with men promotes sustainable, balanced, inclusive growth, improves the representation of women within institutions and inter-generational development outcomes, and is also crisis-cushioning.

Already encumbered by gendered labour-market disadvantages, women workers have been disproportionately affected by job loss, reduced working hours and bankruptcy due to the current pandemic. Also, health risks to health workers, paid and unpaid care work and violence against women have escalated with COVID-19 and lockdowns.

G20 economies have introduced a firepower support package of $8 trillion to cushion households and businesses and facilitate recovery. Despite evidence that the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 are worse for women, it is unclear how much the sizeable G20 (or non-G20) economic packages have invested in women.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women said: “Women are drivers of economic recovery and resilience. G20’s sizeable investments in response to COVID-19 and beyond must be intentional about this and be designed with women at their centre in order to realise sustainable rebuilding.”

Dr. Thoraya Obaid, Women 20 Chair added: “While we work to recover from the damage caused by this global crisis, we have an opportunity to correct a historical fault regarding women and their role in the society. G20 leaders must grasp this opportunity to enable women’s potential fully and equally with men – this is critical to economic recovery now and for future crisis-cushioning.”

In their joint statement, UN Women and W20 called on G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to implement gender-responsive impact reviews of the crisis, recovery packages and plans worldwide, especially for the worst-affected women and girls, in order to guide investment priorities. They also appealed for greater fiscal space for countries of the Global South, including through debt relief or cancellation, and expansionary monetary policies that enhance credit availability for women-specific sectors via loan guarantees and other loan instruments as well as greater investment in gender-responsive budgeting.

The organisations also urge G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to promote inclusive governance and decision-making, sustainable employment and entrepreneurship, expanded, accessible social safety nets and inclusive, quality, sustainable health care systems and gender-based violence services.

UN Women and W20 concluded, G20 leaders have an opportunity to develop policy responses to the pandemic that immediately address women’s roles in healthcare, unpaid care and the workforce.

A new study found that a wide range of streaming services fail to connect with consumers on an emotional and psychological level.

TV subscription brands consistently show ‘narcissistic’ tendencies, which can erode subscriber trust and ultimately make them disloyal, according to a report launched by Singula Decisions.

The new study – ‘The Psychology of a Subscriber’ – found that a wide range of streaming services, in both entertainment and sports, fail to connect with consumers on a deeper emotional and psychological level, by:

  • Not understanding the fundamental drivers motivating a subscriber’s behaviours and interactions
  • Invading their boundaries when asking for financial commitment too soon
  • Insufficiently tailoring the service to meet the moods and mindset of each customer
  • Creating ‘avoidant’ or ‘ambivalent’ attachments to subscribers that do not build loyal relationships
  • Ineffectively providing subscribers with the ability to share more about themselves and to listen to their feedback

Psychology of a Subscriber

The qualitative study, conducted and authored by Qualitative Researcher, Accredited Psychotherapist and Director of QualiProjects, Jennifer Whittaker, and Business Psychologist and Researcher, Katharina Wittgens, explores subscriber attitudes towards TV brands in the UK and US, gaining a deep understanding of how consumers think, feel and behave throughout the customer journey. 

Whittaker, says: “Many brands do not listen to subscribers, nor do they create a safe enough space for subscribers to come forward and give more. In fact, brands often have unconscious narcissistic tendencies and are blinded by the belief that customers are only there to serve, by giving ‘strokes’ to the ego – aka money to the account – and helping to build a good reputation. Unfortunately, brands cannot know subscribers until subscribers give more. But subscribers will only give more if they trust, and they’ll only trust if they don’t feel forgotten.” 

Part 1: Acquisition

This first report in a three-part series covers the acquisition phase of the customer journey. The research found that dissatisfaction and suspicion can begin from the moment a subscriber ‘joins’ a service, if asked to hand over financial information or commit to the brand too soon. While subscribers are at their most enthusiastic in the first months of engagement, brands rarely take advantage of their potential to become advocates. 

Commenting on the findings, Bhavesh Vaghela, CEO of Singula Decisions, adds: “We recognise how tough it can be to build a strong brand and grow a TV subscription business as consumers continue to dip in and out of services every month. We have seen strong consumer brands being created in other sectors such as retail, ecommerce and banking; consumers are loyal to these brands and TV subscription businesses are behind this curve.  Brands must think differently about how they build a service and experience that best suits the needs of their customers – and do a better job to emotionally connect with their customers to build trust and loyalty.”

Death of the demographic?

Bucking the trend of demographic differences, the study found that at the acquisition stage there weren’t huge variations in needs and experiences between age groups. From Gen Z to Baby Boomers, subscribers of all ages said they felt a sense of being ‘pushed by TV brands to commit to the platform financially or share private information. Both UK and US consumers also emphasised the need for a variety of content; American respondents search for unique content that is frequently updated, while British viewers seek value for money based on choice and options for the whole family. After joining the platform, subscribers felt brands were nowhere to be seen, without guidance on how to use the service or how to connect accounts with friends. 

Best practice opportunities

The findings do indicate, however, that brands willing to listen and take time to truly understand their customers, can build trust and loyalty. The report sets out nearly 40 best practice recommendations that can help brands to offer a simultaneous sense of both freedom and connection that subscribers crave in order to feel comfortable to share more of themselves.

Building a relationship that goes beyond a transactional one will have a huge impact on consumers who are faced with more choice than ever. brands that take a lead from other industries, such as retail, ecommerce, and banking, and seek to connect with their customers on a more emotional level, can emerge much stronger.

For more information and to download the full report, visit https://psychologyofasubscriber.com.

Wazoku is preparing for future growth through an additional injection of £1.25M, on top of its latest acquisition.

Wazoku has announced a new funding round of £1.25M, led by Calculus Capital, supported by other shareholders and members of the Wazoku management team.

Wazoku is also continuing its expansion with the acquisition of US open innovation firm, InnoCentive’s, assets, creating the world’s most comprehensive and powerful innovation platform and community. Following a partnership earlier in 2020, it quickly became clear that the combination of platform and network had huge value to innovation-focused businesses and was a unique proposition in the market.

“Adding such a remarkable and proven external crowd to our existing platform means that no other organisation in the world has our reach and experience when it comes to open innovation, crowdsourcing and idea management,” said Simon Hill, CEO, Wazoku.

“This is a significant step for Wazoku – further funding and a strategic acquisition mean we are better positioned than ever and have a strong and established US presence. Workplaces are becoming inherently open and collaborative and we can offer the tools, services and collective expertise to help global businesses of all sizes solve problems and create opportunities.”

InnoCentive has grown a global network of almost 500,000 expert problem-solvers, comprising CEOs, PhD students, engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, retired technologists and business leaders. This combined brainpower has helped address thousands of the world’s most complex innovation and bid data challenges, for organisations such as AstraZeneca, NASA and Enel. InnoCentive has a 75% success rate in solving challenges and Wazoku customers – which include John Lewis & Partners, Barclays and the Ministry of Defence – now have full access to this service.

Wazoku now provides the world’s biggest innovation community and broadest innovation offering. It allows the crowdsourcing of solutions to any pressing business challenge, all supported by the features and functionality already found in the Wazoku platform, Idea Spotlight.

“Our customers have long demanded a platform that integrates internal idea management with external crowdsourcing,” said Alpheus Bingham, CEO and co-founder of InnoCentive. “This enables multiple modes of innovation within the same workflow and on the same digital backbone and the combination of Wazoku and InnoCentive capability offers precisely that. No other firm has the experience and capability of crowdsourcing, idea management and open innovation that this combined proposition brings. The possibilities and potential are hugely exciting.”

Wazoku’s latest investment round brings the total amount raised to £7.35M and recognises the increasing demand for innovation in business. COVID-19 saw both an increase in business and a change in the way in which organisations were using Wazoku, with the quarter during lockdown (April-Jun 2020) Wazoku’s best ever from a new business perspective and overall platform activity level.

“The rapid shift to remote working and the need for engaging dispersed networks as well as the on-going need to innovate and solve problems, has seen a significant increase in demand for both our idea management and open innovation services,” said Simon Hill, CEO, Wazoku.

“We will continue to invest in new talent in both Europe and the US, and in product development, but our main focus is on continuing to build awareness of the power of open business models for driving cost-effective and highly impactful business change.”

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are witnessing an unprecedented increase in home working, which requires remote access for tools and communications to conduct our daily jobs. This disruption is putting IT infrastructures at risk, while validating much of the industry’s investment in business continuity, resilience, scalability, accessibility, data protection and security.

With a global at-home workforce now entirely in place, what can IT professionals and CIOs do to ensure their private and public clouds can keep up and remain safe? And what steps and tests should they take to support a protracted change in the way we work?  According to a recent Gartner survey, more than 74 percent of CFOs and business finance leaders expect at least five percent of their workforce will never return to their usual office workspace — becoming permanent work-from-home employees after the pandemic ends. 

Even in the face of a global pandemic, we continue to promote a culture that requires easy and instant access to our tools, information and each other over cloud collaboration tools like Slack, Google Drive, Office 365, Microsoft Teams, as well as in-house applications.   

This demand on IT requires private, public and hybrid clouds to have the agility, scalability and security to support entire workforces no matter where they are. IT leaders who have planned for this worst-case scenario are ready to scale at a moment’s notice.  Likewise, they’ve already considered the impact on licensing, vulnerability and added traffic from employees working at home over personal devices and unsecured networks.  

IT professionals who support an at-home workforce need to understand the difference between employees “running” applications and “accessing” applications. When technology is set up and configured correctly, it should be easy to access. That’s the whole idea of SaaS and cloud. The challenge is, how do you administer it? How do you run it?   

Organisations that maintain private clouds onsite, which might not be accessible during stay-at-home orders, need a plan to make repairs physically — like swapping hard drives, replacing switches or cables — when their employees are home.  

Likewise, whether at home or work, the end-user experience should be the same. If all apps and tools are optimal in an office environment, how do you make those adjustments ahead of time, so remote employees still have the same access and capabilities as if they’re working in the office? And how do you maintain your security and IT compliance obligations?    

Where and how to start? 

The easiest advice might be to avoid trying to boil the ocean all at once. If your applications and data aren’t on the cloud already, it’s possible to mobilise secure VPNs and encrypt applications for mobile devices. If you’re on the cloud already, you’re several steps ahead of others. But you still need to work with your cloud service provider to review your workloads, applications, and data requirements.  

At the same time you’re focusing on accessibility, remember to address your vulnerabilities. Right now, cybercriminals are stepping up their attacks to take advantage of remote employees. Phishing attacks are at an all-time high on small and large businesses, as well as public resources like hospitals and healthcare providers. 

Now’s the time to reinforce your organisation’s IT security and compliance guidelines, many of which include the relevance of when employees travel or occasionally work from home. This includes a refresher on password policies and how to identify and report phishing attempts. Help employees with securing their home networks, and all the other policies and guidelines they would typically follow at work to protect your company and customer data. This might also be an excellent time to train employees on document and data retention best practices. 

COVID-19 will create additional security threats as attackers attempt to take advantage of employees spending more time online while at home and working in unfamiliar circumstances. Some of the biggest threats associated with the pandemic include phishing emails, spear phishing attachments, cybercriminals masquerading fake VPNs, remote meeting software and mobile apps. 

Above all, you must have the same level of resilience and redundancy plans in place for home working as you do for onsite, even if you are 100 percent in the cloud. It is important to recognise that the same problems that happen on a day-to-day basis when you’re in the office can also occur when the office is vacant. 

Prepare for the new normal 

Going forward, all businesses should plan for an eventuality like COVID-19 happening again. This means understanding data security, business continuity, resilience, scalability, accessibility and so much more. For example, you may not need extra capacity and compute power now; but you need to know that within minutes you can get to that number. And, as I mentioned earlier, a lot of organisations have internal-only networks to manage power supply, fans, cooling and switches. What if you can’t get into the building? 

Futureproof and understand the boundaries between personal and company devices and assets. Understand what you need to put into place to protect your business and your employees.    

And finally, companies that are leveraging cloud services need to communicate frequently with their providers to address future needs and concerns. Make sure you know what they can do ahead of time to keep your remote workforce operating. Hopefully, these circumstances will be short-term, and life will return to some normality soon, but my advice is to always plan for every eventuality and what may now be the new normal. 

Danish Crown, ENGIE, Procurement Foundry and more!

Our cover star this month is Lars Feldskou, Group CPO of Danish Crown. Earlier this year CPOstrategy flew out to Denmark to sit down with Lars and his procurement team to explore the company’s massive procurement transformation that saw a huge shift away from siloed working, creating a completely fast, agile and centralised procurement function.


“The old strategy was very much decentralised, while the new strategy is very much based around centralisation and a group perspective on many key areas,” he explains from Danish Crown’s offices in Randers. “I must say, I love the challenges of working with transformations, development projects and change management.”


Elsewhere, we travelled down to London to speak with one of the UK’s largest utility companies, ENGIE UK & Ireland to speak with Jonathan Sims, Chief Procurement Officer. Jonathan sat down to tell us all about how the strength of his procurement team is the key to successfully delivering a transformation.


“I think it’s probably one of the strongest procurement teams I’ve ever worked with. We’ve got people being seconded into international business units and I think that’s really starting to create a positive message. Plus, we over-delivered on our group savings target last year, which again shows that we’re backing that up with business results,” he explains.


Also in this month’s issue we have exclusive content from Mike Cadieux as he continues his quest to “make procurement cool” and Soren Petsch is back with another deep dive into the complexity around procurement risk.

Banks are facing new pressures to achieve efficiency, while facing shifting customer preferences, competition, and technological innovation.

Banking is set to change in the coming decade, and it is up to institutions to choose a path in transforming their operations. Challenged by fintech and lean business models, banks still have a runway to adopt more efficient processes, while not sacrificing the wealth of products or user experience. Posed before a transformation, the banking sector can envision a pathway to increase sustainability and operating efficiency.

Banking Faces the Challenge of Technological Overhaul

The banking sector reached a point where adopting new technologies is essential, while also needing to modernize legacy systems. Automation and self-service are now everyday occurrences, training customers to expect a smooth, efficient experience.

Legacy banks, however, are caught in a bind, still investing in offices and outside appearances, while failing to achieve the necessary speed in new product creation. The resulting service may not only end up hurting the bank’s bottom line, but also undermine customer engagement.

To remain competitive in the modern world, banks also need to reassess their processes, instead of over-investing in offices and interiors. Attracting more employees is also not the answer to better service in the age of automation. Providing working places looks positive on the surface, those jobs often involve monotonous processes, which could be automatized. At the same time, talent could be pointed to areas where human engagement is essential.

Data from the banking sector reveals that modernization has happened fast in the forward-facing service. Automatic offices and online payment systems replace tellers. But banks’ back offices still require lengthy processes to augment the work of legacy systems. Those processes can be handled by automation technology, reducing human input in the IT department, transaction handling, and general accounting processes.

An example of lightening the backend load would be to avoid paper trails in transactions. Resource allocation can also be automatized, as well as routine decision-making. Banks have shown examples of reorganizing as much as 900 end-to-end processes, achieving 50% automation. 

Barriers to Modernizing Processes

Newly arriving fintech products can do a bare-bones operation using newly created processes and software. But banks face headwinds in design, general business tasks, as well as the mode of operation of their IT departments.

Banking processes have grown complex over time, based on both regulations and internal decisions. Thus, it may take years to rebuild software that could encompass those processes. The bank itself may start with procedures that are not optimized and lengthy internal processes created on an ad-hoc basis.

IT departments may also have differing agendas in terms of security and system building, not noticing a demand for efficiency and streamlining. Internal bank IT departments may also not be capable of creating new software to replace the old workflow.

Banks should have automation tools and automate their processes as much as possible. People should be doing only jobs that require human input. All the other processes in the bank (transactions, IT, etc. should be automated). In addition to reducing process costs, automation tools can help improve staff productivity, enabling banks to handle more transactions and greater volumes of activity with the same number of personnel.

How Banks can Boost Efficiency

Banks can move in two directions when seeking efficiency and sustainability. One is to shorten the customer engagement, and the other is to seek simplified processes. Following the path of fintech operations, with a simpler architecture, would unify front-end user engagement with back-end processes. Such an approach would speed up process completion and minimize the requirement for support.

An optimized backend process may mean better access to novel products, previously unavailable without a complex human-driven process. Access to loans, as well as other trading and investment products, can be automated in the backend, to streamline the bank’s sources of revenues. The addition of AI and algorithmic processes may also mean expanded possibilities for product offerings and decision-making.

Optimizing the backend process and IT department does not translate into simplification or direct layoffs. Banking is in a situation where processes can be tailor-made for each customer, yet remain automatic and require little human input. Examples of process engagement include any task from simple transfers to loan requests or information queries. 

Philippe Carrel, Chief Commercial Officer at Finmechanics, envisions multiple processes that can be added to a bank’s backend, without an undue load on IT departments.

“As digital banking now reaches corporate and transaction banking, the challenge is not about replacing sales desks with aps., but again rethinking the back-end. It involves real-time pricing, treasury advisory services, derivatives, margins, collateral and more. The mere idea of an algorithm proposing services or investments across asset classes and client activities involves consuming information from a broad range of sources,” Carrel envisions the future of banking backend operations.

Process and workflow improvements can also optimize tasks in user onboarding, such as the first engagement with the bank and opening a new account. Speed is essential, as modern users expect to only wait for seconds, based on their experience with fintech or loan apps.

The monopoly of banks was only challenged in the past decade, and for most organizations, becoming streamlined and achieving sustainability is a big task. So far, banks have started off with layoffs, but there is more work to be done for institutions to shift to an up-to-date operations model. Sustainability and optimization also don’t mean banks will become smaller and simpler, nor that their profits would suffer. The potential goal of automation and added products can end up augmenting the bottom line of banks.

Sustainability also comes with simplification, meaning that banks should refrain from building up their technology systems with new layers, and instead re-engineer processes with the end-user in mind.

Digital transformation in banking is a process expected to unfurl in the coming decade. Forbis group is one of the proponents for building innovative and sustainable financial solutions, to bring about a deep transformation in the finance and banking sector. Forbis offers the tools to build an entire complex digital banking system, a task that will see increased demand as banks transfer from legacy systems to automation and streamlined solutions.

Forbis has already created working prototypes of products that aim to digitize banking operations. With a focus on innovating in e-finance, the company has been developing Contomobile – a digital banking solution, which combines the delivery of secure and reliable financial services with a thoughtful user interface. As the number of companies wanting to go digital increases, this white label solution is in high demand, since it can be rebuilt based on individual needs of the business.

Evolution may be available on all levels, both for commercial and investment banks, bringing a new era of product growth and speedier solutions. Banking has always been an evolving sector, but the latest changes are expected to be the fastest and deepest on record.

It’s clear that technology is evolving across every business, allowing companies to become more productive and efficient. Computer systems, such…

It’s clear that technology is evolving across every business, allowing companies to become more productive and efficient.

Computer systems, such as CRMs and warehouse management systems, can help you plan out your workload as efficiently as possible to increase productivity of staff, while analytics allow you to judge what updates are needed and when.

Bodysuits

It was announced in 2017 that line workers in the plant would pilot exoskeleton suits — wearable technology that can help support a worker’s arms while they undergo tasks above their heads. Ford’s Michigan plant is also using innovative technological developments to help its workforce. These suits can also be adjusted to support different weights, depending on the wearer’s needs.

While such suits were more likely to appear on the big screen in movies such as Iron Man just a few years ago, the creation is having positive feedback from its users in the real life world.

Printing techniques

In any manufacturing company, human error can be extremely costly. That’s where 3D printing can come into play. While it’s still early days for the technology, digital printing has the potential to have a massive impact on practicality. It’s expected that this invention will transform nearly every industry as it changes how manufacturers will do business and will impact material costs, the traditional assembly line and product pricing strategies.

They are particularly handy as automated printers, like those used by Voodoo Manufacturing, don’t need to be manned anymore and can continue working 24 hours a day. The use of robotics isn’t aimed at replacing humans, but more so making employees’ jobs easier.

Drones

Drones can impact a company massively, saving almost 12 hours on each inspection and reducing the time it takes to check the equipment from 12 hours to 12 minutes. Not only can drones provide a quick and thorough inspection, but they eliminate the health and safety risk of someone needing to scale up to 150 feet to look at gantries. They have started to use drones to help perform risky inspections on the factory’s equipment in it’s Dagenham engine plant. The company is benefitting massively,

Another advantage of drones is that they are particularly good at providing the company with video and still footage that can be stored to allow the plant to compare its findings over a period of time to monitor any changes or patterns that are noticeable. This has become an indispensable tool for the factory, with the drones greatly improving productivity and efficiency.

What does the future have in store?

The process of quality control can’t be too reliable, as faulty parts may well be produced in a batch and slip through after the checks. That’s why the ever-improving embedded metrology will continue to help manufacturers produce a better product. This quick and convenient solution is a lot more accurate and requires little human interference.

This process can traditionally be a very time-consuming and expensive project. There would be randomly selected machine-made parts that would be individually tested, and if they passed the test, the batch it came from would be validated.

To summarise, it’s anticipated that this human aspect can be removed completely, with technology helping to provide a fully integrated and fully automated form of quality control. While some of the public are concerned that jobs will be lost as it keeps progressing, it can only be a good thing for manufacturing companies as it continues to help improve productivity and efficiency. It will be interesting to see what we welcome to factories next! Technology is continuing to amaze us in all walks of life.

The automotive industry is no different, either, taking advantage of new inventions. It’s not only our cars that are benefitting from technological advances, though — the manufacturing industry is, too. Lookers, who offer a variety of cars such as the used Ford C Max, are an example of this too!

As location data continues to dictate customer interactions, Tableau Software redefines the data driven conversation, following the unveiling of its…

As location data continues to dictate customer interactions, Tableau Software redefines the data driven conversation, following the unveiling of its latest next-generation mapping capabilities that will enhance how people anaylse location data.

With the general availability of Tableau 2019.2 now live, the company’s product offering allows for greater understanding of location data through mapping technology. The latest release utilises Mapbox mapping technology to implement vector maps that allow people to see more detailed location data and perform greater analysis.  The newest version also includes parameter actions for more visual interactivity.

This comes at a key time in the location data conversation, as recent reports indicate that by 2022, 30% of customer interactions will be influenced by real-time location analysis.  Tableau can now provide a more efficient and smoother experience as well as provide far greater background mapping layers to geospatial data, including train stations, building footprints and terrain information.

PATH, a global health organisation that uses Tableau and Mapbox to monitor reported cases of diseases more easily and precisely keep tabs on communicable diseases in hot spots, will see key benefits from these new geospatial capabilities.

“Monitoring the reported cases of diseases like malaria will be enhanced greatly by accurately placing those cases on a map. As visualisation tools, maps engender a sense of both place and scale. They also instigate exploration and discovery, so decision makers can see where diseases are emerging and make comparisons to where they have available resources such as health facilities, drugs, diagnostics or community health workers.” said Jeff Bernson, Vice President, Technology, Analytics and Market Innovation at PATH. “By adding more accurate and detailed vector mapping into our work with Tableau through initiatives like Visualize No Malaria, our country partners can more easily and precisely keep tabs on communicable diseases in hot spots, and get help to those who need it faster.”

Tableau 2019.2 follows the recent introduction of its Ask Data platform. Revealed earlier this year, Ask Data uses the power of natural language processing to enable people to ask data questions and get an immediate visual response.

“Tableau’s unparalleled community inspires and motivates our rapid pace of innovation. With every release, we are working to simplify and enhance the analytics experience so that even more people can easily ask and answer questions of their data,” said Francois Ajenstat, Chief Product Officer at Tableau. “From empowering new analytical creativity with parameter actions, to unlocking the power of spatial data through a richer, more advanced mapping experience, Tableau 2019.2 takes interactivity to the next level for our customers.”

You can find out more information on Tableau 2019.2 and a full breakdown of its features at tableau.com/new-features