During the formation of the ‘Bold Procurement Predictions for 2030′ Insights series, ProcureAbility was keenly focused on procurement teams’ maturity levels for accepting new practices and emerging trends. It quickly became clear that procurement organizations are all over the map in terms of the new processes and technologies adopted. Some are still mired in their core practices, while a small group of innovators are ideating new ways to leverage supply chain technology. The focus of ProcureAbility’s effort was at the very top of the pyramid below: ideation.

In this Insights series, ProcureAbility explores five emerging trends that procurement organizations should anticipate will transition from the top of the pyramid to the bottom by 2030, including advanced crowdsourcing, procurement technology acceleration, cognitive computing, hyper cybersecurity, and virtual organizational design.

pyramid diagram

Before we examine our final bold prediction in this series, let us review where we have been. These are ProcureAbility’s Bold Procurement Predictions for 2030 to date:

By 2030, we expect at least half of all procurement activity will occur within the crowdsource domain and participation of smaller companies will increase by 70 percent. Crowdsourcing’s increased visibility will feed competitive pressures, driving prices down.

Virtual delivery will replace site visits, presentations, and written proposals. 3D-printed prototypes will be standard operating procedure. We predict that virtual assistants will be available to order items from the corporate catalog with the same convenience we see from smart speakers today. By 2030, standard terms and conditions will be controlled and updated by machine learning, and AI will recommend negotiation tactics.

By 2030, thanks to cognitive computing, strategic sourcing will take no longer than two weeks. Nearly every aspect of sourcing will utilize some form of machine learning or robotic processing automation.

ProcureAbility predicts that cybersecurity spend will increase by 30 percent and that monitoring and prevention services will become a top category. Firms will work with fewer suppliers who will need to meet rigid data security requirements.


These innovations underpin ProcureAbility’s final Bold Procurement Prediction for 2030: By the end of this decade, we believe there will be a widespread shift towards center-led procurement. While leading procurement organizations have been moving toward this model for some time, we predict that by 2030 the center-led procurement model will have evolved to an entirely new level. Procurement organizations will consist of a core business unit, while 90 percent of operational sourcing roles will be automated or outsourced to contractors.

change management model

Automation and Center-Led Procurement

Artificial intelligence and advanced automation will be key drivers in the march toward center-led procurement. Research suggests that by the mid-decade, a substantial portion, one thirdof all highly skilled work is set to be impacted by intelligent machines or non-specialist personnel supported by cognitive computing. ProcureAbility predicts that automation will serve as a great complement to human workforces. Far from the “machines will take our jobs” trope, we expect that automation, as a procurement tool, will improve cost savings, quality, and compliance: Lead times, downtime, and service interruptions will plummet.

automation disruption and automation

The Gig Economy and Center-Led Procurement

By 2030, core procurement organization will be expected to centralize processes, manage data analytics, and drive business strategy. To facilitate this pivot, firms will contract category experts and consultants to handle specialized tasks. This trend has been in play for years with contingent, temporary, and contract labor poised to become the majority of the workforce by 2027. With benefits accounting for 32% of employee costs, organizations using contractors can realize serious savings while enjoying a greater degree of scalability, flexing up or down as the business demands.

independent contracting on the rise

What Now?

ProcureAbility recommends that procurement firms assess their organizations’ current designs and determine what changes will be required to build more responsive, adaptable sourcing teams. Develop a plan to optimize automation and restructure staff, seeding contracted generalists in the department as necessary. By the end of the decade, procurement organizations will be smaller and more agile, with a heavy focus on relationship building and business strategy.


2030 is Closer than You Think
This study uncovered that we are experiencing something of a perfect storm in terms of business upheaval. Technology, economic changes, and societal shifts are all driving new methods for running a successful supply chain operation. While no one has a crystal ball, we believe these predictions reflect a reasonable expectation for where procurement is headed. Change is never easy, but by carefully examining your current processes and taking steps to prepare your organization for what’s coming, you will be well-positioned to be the leading example of the modern procurement operation in 2030.



1Gartner Maverick Research

2McKinsey Global Institute, Jobs lost, jobs gained: What the future of work will mean for jobs, skills, and wages, November 2017

3Robots and the Economy: The Role of Automation in Productivity Growth, December 2020

4Dell Technologies and Institute for the Future, Emerging Technologies’ Impact on Society & Work 2030

5LinkedIn Workforce Report, May 2018

6U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020

7Statistica, July 2022

8Upwork, Freelance Forward 2021

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