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Global Survey Confirms Digitalization Tops Chief Procurement Officers’ Agendas

Results shared at SAP Ariba Live in Barcelona, Spain

SAP Ariba Live, Barcelona, Spain – 5 June 2019 – Procurement organizations continue to evolve from a clerical back office function to a strategic business function that orchestrates supply networks, drives innovation and growth, aligns business operations with companies’ ethical and social values, and manages risk, even as markets and technologies continuously change. And, according to chief procurement officers (CPOs) globally, digitalization in procurement will accelerate in 2019. According to the results of a new global CPO survey – conducted by the University of Mannheim in collaboration with SAP Ariba in early 2019 – digital transformation in procurement organizations is set to happen even faster in the year ahead. The results were shared today at SAP Ariba Live, taking place at the Barcelona International Convention Centre.

“Digitalization is on every CPO’s agenda, but there is still a lot of potential to be realized,” said Prof. Dr. Christoph Bode, head of University of Mannheim’s Endowed Chair of Procurement and principal investigator of the study. To explore the trends and challenges that are shaping the future of emerging technologies and understand how digital innovation is shaping the future of procurement, researchers Christoph Bode and Jan Gruenen teamed up with SAP Ariba to conduct a large-scale survey of more than 460 procurement and operational leaders globally.

Key findings of the empirical study include:

  • 84% of the respondents consider digitalization important to improve procurement performance.
  • 28% of participants rated their digital maturity better than that of their competitors.
  • The adoption of mature digital solutions is moderate with 65% of respondents leveraging cloud solutions.
  • Primary objectives for digitalization projects are often clear: automating processes, improving data quality, achieving cost savings and improving compliance.

“Despite the roadblocks – budget restrictions, lack of analytics and data insights and talent shortage – procurement leaders understand the urgency and importance of digitalization,” said Dr. Marcell Vollmer, chief digital officer, SAP Ariba & SAP Fieldglass. “And, it will be important for them to continue to look for ways to bring intelligence to spend management, evaluating new and emerging technologies and embracing innovations to elevate procurement’s role in driving revenue and innovation and not just cost savings.”

For a summary of the survey’s findings, visit the SAP Ariba Resource Library or find them on the University of Mannheim website.

About SAP Ariba & SAP Fieldglass

SAP Ariba & SAP Fieldglass is how companies connect to get business done and spend better. With SAP Ariba & SAP Fieldglass, businesses can manage the buying process across all categories of spend – from direct and indirect goods and services to external workforce. On Ariba Network, buyers and suppliers from more than 4.1 million companies and 190 countries discover new opportunities, collaborate on transactions, grow strong relationships, and build healthy supply chains. It’s where more than $2.8 trillion in commerce gets done every year. SAP Fieldglass is used by organizations in more than 180 countries to find, engage and manage flexible workforces that include non-payroll workers and service providers. With SAP Ariba & SAP Fieldglass, companies are transforming how they manage all categories of spend with improved operational efficiency and compliance, increased agility and accelerated business outcomes. To learn more visit and

About SAP

As the cloud company powered by SAP HANA®, SAP is the market leader in enterprise application software, helping companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best: 77% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP® system. Our machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics technologies help turn customers’ businesses into intelligent enterprises. SAP helps give people and organizations deep business insight and fosters collaboration that helps them stay ahead of their competition. We simplify technology for companies so they can consume our software the way they want – without disruption. Our end-to-end suite of applications and services enable more than 413,000 business and public customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and make a difference. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improve people’s lives. For more information, visit

About the Endowed Chair of Procurement at the University of Mannheim

The Endowed Chair of Procurement, led by Prof. Dr. Christoph Bode, is part of the Business School of the University of Mannheim. The chair is engaged in teaching and research activities in purchasing and supply management and aims to be a preeminent management research group impacting the community of researchers, educators, and practitioners dedicated to procurement and the management of the upstream supply chain. The chair is sponsored by Bilfinger SE, the German Association Materials Management, Purchasing and Logistics (BME e.V.), Dietmar Hopp Stiftung, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, Hilti AG, KSB AG, Roche Diagnostics GmbH, SAP SE, SEW Eurodrive, and Saint-Gobain Building Distribution Germany. For more information, visit

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Media Contacts

Kelly Murray
SAP Ariba
+1 978 708-6821

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