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COVID-19 WILL BE THE TIPPING POINT FOR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IN PROCUREMENT

Seven in ten organisations in the UK say the global pandemic has increased the need for procurement to digitally transform

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of digital transformation in procurement and supply chain management according to a new study from Ivalua, a leading provider of global spend management cloud solutions. The research has shown that seven in ten (70%) UK organisations say COVID-19 has increased the need for digital transformation in procurement. The study of 200 procurement, supply chain and finance professionals in the UK found organisations believe that greater digitalisation (84%) and better digital skills (83%) will enable them to more effectively mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the business.

 

“The global COVID-19 pandemic will be the catalyst for accelerated digital transformation in procurement,” explains Alex Saric, Smart Procurement Expert at Ivalua. “The supply chain disruption caused by COVID-19 is completely unprecedented. Procurement is on the front line mitigating its impact, but the dearth of digital technology and skills in hindering its effectiveness. Teams are still reliant on paper-based processes or outdated systems, making it impossible to gain visibility into the thousands of suppliers they work with. This has made digital transformation vital, as those organisations that are more digitally mature will be able to quickly adapt to this new normal.”

 

According to the study, the biggest challenges organisations face when it comes to mitigating the impact of COVID-19 include: an overdependence on a limited set of suppliers (35%), identifying alternate suppliers (30%), a lack of understanding of suppliers’ risk exposure (28%), and a lack of visibility into tier 2 or 3 suppliers (18%). In response, 78% of organisations say that COVID-19 has increased their focus on supplier visibility, while 88% say greater digitalisation will improve their ability to collaborate with suppliers and find alternative supply during the global pandemic.

 

“COVID-19 has exposed gaps in organisations’ ability to gain complete visibility into their suppliers,” advises Saric. “This is leaving them in the dark as to the true vulnerability of the business and the supply chain to COVID-19. Digitally transforming procurement will allow organisations to create a 360-degree view of what is happening in the supply chain in near real-time, enabling them to make informed decisions about how to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. COVID-19 has exposed the discrepancy between more and less digitally mature organisations. As a result, we’ll see organisations accelerate their plans to digitally transform procurement, allowing them to mitigate the impact of this crisis and the next.”

 

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INTERNATIONAL BANKING NETWORK EXPANDS AS IT WELCOMES STANDARD CHARTERED BANK

IBOS Association (IBOS), an international banking network, is delighted to announce its newest member to the group, Standard Chartered Bank.

A unique international alliance of some of the largest banks in the world, IBOS members collaborate to serve each other’s’ international clients in markets where they themselves do not operate. Standard Chartered’s rich history and extensive network across Asia, Africa and the Middle East will complement IBOS’s strong geographic coverage in Europe and the Americas, thereby creating compelling global opportunities for clients of all member banks.

IBOS Managing Director, Manoj Mistry, commented: “I am delighted that Standard Chartered is joining IBOS, further strengthening our network across this key region and opening more doors in Asia for our clients. We are relishing this next chapter and we are thrilled to be working with Standard Chartered.”

Standard Chartered will initially add Hong Kong, Singapore, India, China, Taiwan and Malaysia to the IBOS network. In time, both parties will explore expanding the relationship to additional markets where Standard Chartered operates.

Speaking on behalf of Standard Chartered, Jiten Arora, Global Head, Commercial Banking, commented “Helping businesses to connect and grow internationally is central to our brand promise. We are pleased to be a part of IBOS, which will further strengthen our role as a strategic partner in our clients’ growth journeys. We also look forward to supporting internationalising mid-corporate clients of member banks, who are keen to venture into the markets across our footprint and using our deep local knowledge to help them enter, navigate and prosper by accessing some of the most vibrant economies, trade corridors and supply chain ecosystems globally.”

Despite the current pandemic, IBOS remains open for business and the network is utilising technology to succeed at achieving its goals and ensuring clients continue to have access to services as normal. IBOS also has its sights set on growth into the markets that the ever changing economic and geographical developments demand, as it continues to develop its expansion into Australasia.

Moreover, Manoj notes that: “Additional markets across CEE are also being contemplated to serve the network as other banking association groups are starting to wind down.”

Matt Tuck, Head of Commercial Product, Service & Operations at NatWest Group, said “As a long-standing member of IBOS since its inception in 1994, NatWest Group is delighted that with Standard Chartered’s membership IBOS is extending its reach into Asia for the first time. As a market leading UK Commercial Bank, NatWest Group is looking forward to working even more closely with IBOS to support our clients’ international banking needs across this region.”

“The addition of Standard Chartered presents an incredible growth opportunity for the IBOS network and for its members,” said Chris Ward, executive vice president and head of product management & operations, PNC Treasury Management and IBOS chair and board of directors’ member. “The continued global expansion of the network will help to provide our members’ customers with the service and resources they need to be successful.”

 

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ARE MIDDLE EAST ENTERPRISES PREPARED FOR THE FUTURE?

Deloitte releases 2020 tech trends report

 

Deloitte’s 11th annual report on technology trends captures the intersection of digital technologies, human experiences, and increasingly sophisticated analytics and artificial intelligence technologies in the modern enterprise. The report explores digital twins, the new role technology architects play in business outcomes, and affective computing-driven “human experience platforms” that are redefining the way humans and machines interact.

During the current COVID-19 crisis, organizations have been turning more and more to technology to enhance business resilience and continue to operate. As organizations are forced to utilize remote working where possible or take pause, many are also realizing the benefits of this way of working as an option post COVID-19, to improve efficiencies and become more agile.  While currently dominated by communication technologies, building resilience will also require us to closely examine, and build on, trends such as ethical technology and trust, human experience platforms and architecture, and the macro forces of digital experience, cloud and risk.

“The most successful businesses today are combining cutting-edge technologies like machine learning and IoT with disruptive IT architecture and supercharged talent to create entirely new ways of working – and they already see the benefits,” said Bhavesh Morar, Lead Partner for Enterprise Technology and Performance, Deloitte Middle East. “And with enterprises needing to adapt and respond quickly to ongoing technology disruption, Deloitte expects to see more IT and finance leaders working together to develop new flexible approaches for funding innovation.”

 

The Deloitte report’s five trends of focus for 2020 include:

  • Digital Twins – Bridging the physical and digital:Digital twin technology allows businesses to create increasingly sophisticated virtual models to optimize processes, products, and services, enterprises will integrate IoT, machine learning, advanced computing infrastructure, and more to unlock entirely new business models.
  • Architecture Awakens:Systems architecture will become a strategic priority as enterprises redefine the architect role to be more nimble, responsive, and collaborative. Architects will work across the business and work creatively with non-technical project teams – forming a competitive differentiator in the digital economy.
  • Ethical Technology and Trust:Enterprises in every geography are realizing that their embrace of technology is an opportunity to gain – or lose – trust, and with it, customers’ business and brand loyalty. CIOs will emphasize ethical tech in the coming years – and create processes to help solve ethical dilemmas related to disruptive technologies.
  • Human Experience Platforms:To address the lack of connection humans often experience with daily digital interactions, a growing number of enterprises are injecting emotional intelligence into their systems. These include AI capabilities such as machine learning and voice and facial recognition, which can better detect and appropriately respond to human emotions. The net result is emotionally intelligent human experiences that leverage connections between people, systems, data, and products.
  • Finance and the Future of IT: As enterprises become more agile, financial operations will need to support new modes of working. That means CIOs and CFOs will need to explore how a new, flexible approach to enterprise finance¾across budgeting, contracting, capital planning, and more¾can redefine the future of tech innovation.

“Enterprises in the Middle East are no longer satisfied with being regional leaders – now the ambition is to go global and lead globally. There is a growing interest in looking beyond what’s new to what’s next. At present, many enterprises are looking to strengthen their structures, capabilities, and processes required to harness technology macro forces and innovate effectively in the face of exponential change,” concluded Morar.

 

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