I had the opportunity to visit several end-user clients over the last week. I confess that this is one of my favorite duties here at Gartner. Face to face meetings allow an incredibly greater depth of conversation than a phone call, and when I see someone with my own two eyes I feel like I’ve really met them.
In these end-user recent visits I noticed something interesting. In two of seven organizations, the CIO was recently given a second role – hold your breath – Chief Procurement Officer (CPO)! I’ve seen this phenomenon in other companies, and maybe it was just luck of the draw this week that I saw it twice more. Its happened enough over the past year that it seems like we may have a trend.
The two people I met this week with this newly minted dual role work at services companies – one in financial services, the other business services. From our conversations, I could see how this combination makes sense. In services industries, IT spend is often a significant percentage of the overall purchasing budget. And purchasing itself is becoming increasingly supported by technology – witness my role at Gartner!
Even in manufacturers, indirect procurement can be a migratory function. I can remember clearly how in my former alma mater, Bay Networks, indirect procurement in the ‘90s reported to supply chain operations, then facilities, then the CFO, and then finally to a CPO.
CIO- hmmmmm this is interesting.
If the top slot in your procurement organization is open - consolidating the two functions could even be spun as a cost-cutting measure . . . . . .