Three ways technology is shaping our new world of work


There’s no denying that, since the outbreak of COVID-19 two years ago, the way in which we work has drastically changed. In fact, according to Mckinsey, responses to the pandemic sped up the adoption of digital technologies by seven years in 2020 alone. This was due to businesses around the world being forced to quickly adapt to a remote, online model of working which is enabled by technology.

As a result of the pandemic, many enterprises now realise the importance of becoming more resilient, collaborative, and networked with customers, suppliers, and stakeholders. Despite lockdown restrictions now being lifted, companies have found that remote and hybrid ways of working, that were once viewed as just temporary solutions, actually present many of these benefits. However, to truly reap the rewards that come with new ways of working, businesses must be prepared to transform their sourcing in line with the changing world. This includes increasing investment in supply chain technologies like AI and robotic process automation and retraining workers to fully understand the ways in which these technologies can help.

  1. Innovative technology enables international collaboration

By adopting new technology, businesses across the globe are changing the way they procure talent. As demonstrated through businesses’ resilience during lockdowns where colleagues were forced to work from separate locations, there is now little need for that talent to reside in the same place as the business itself. In fact, thanks to new technology, business stakeholders now have the ability to achieve the same level of collaboration that used to take place in a conference room, with procurement staffers based anywhere. For example, utilising AI-powered sourcing platforms and marketplaces for B2B services can help companies attract better talent and continue to grow and succeed by facilitating the same level of collaboration, communication and productivity as there was in an office.

Another benefit of new technology enabling procurement teams to work collaboratively from different places is that businesses can source employees in different time zones,  which allows for around-the-clock productivity. Procurement can no longer restrict its services just to traditional service hours. For the required level of flexibility in today’s working world, all platforms and processes need to be digital, automated, and always-on – AI-powered sourcing technology can help tick all these boxes.

  1. Recovery from crisis is faster and more achievable through technology

COVID-19 isn’t the only crisis that has put pressure on the procurement sector. With supply chain issues also being caused by challenges such as Brexit and conflict in Russia and Ukraine, executives are finding themselves having to shift their focus toward finding new ways of achieving new levels of resilience and adaptability. The demand for this means that many procurement leaders are experimenting with new working models, powered by technology, in order to find the best way to build-back, protect and strengthen their businesses.

While many organisations recognise that quality procurement will be key to making a full recovery from the pandemic and other current challenges, the most successful executives will be those that are capable of entirely reimagining what the function looks like. Investing in modern, future-ready working practices that leverage the latest cutting-edge technology will undoubtedly help companies emerge more resilient and better prepared for any future crisis. What’s more, if today’s current C-suites begin capitalising on new digital ways of working today, they will be able to use it as a competitive advantage – those companies that are late to implement these changes will likely struggle more during challenging times.

  1. Digital working solutions are helping create equal opportunities 

Many organisations lose out on generating value by sticking with archaic procurement processes that see a company’s buyer simply reusing the same supplier they have bought services from over and over again – also causing bias in the supply chain. But to maintain continuity and ensure improvement to their businesses, procurement leaders need to embrace AI-powered solutions which can help match enterprise companies with the very best suppliers who are right for them.

New ways of working, such as the hybrid working model, encourage connections between businesses and new suppliers from different areas, which is helping to level the procurement playing field. Thanks to innovative sourcing technology that helps match businesses and suppliers who may previously not have been likely to connect, new relationships are able to form. These relationships are minimising bias during the procurement process and therefore democratising business opportunities. Just some of the benefits of buyers creating a competitive market among suppliers include leading to innovative solutions, collating new ideas and generating savings.

Put simply, organisations that wish to be successful in today’s new world of work should be prepared to adapt and adopt technology such as AI, Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning to transform their procurement processes. Those companies that truly embrace digital transformation and leverage it to their advantage will be the businesses that thrive as we move forward into an ever-increasingly digital world.