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The Digital Revolution in Procurement

What are greenfield projects?

Don’t you just love positive surprises?

This might be harsh, but I imagine many people would be surprised if they learned that a small national grid operator had hired engineers, data geeks and software scientists into their procurement team.

The reason for this? To empower and allow them to spend 20% of their time working on innovative tech solutions that will transform their line of work, and ask them to build solution blue prints and actual solutions that will specifically improve the line of business they are responsible for.

But one company has done exactly that – Swissgrid and its CPO, Robert Lutz.

Enforced ‘strategies’ vs. greenfield projects

While many large organisations struggle along with old legacy systems, clunky ways of working and IT departments that force them into single-source SAP / Oracle ‘strategies’, others enjoy the freedom of greenfield projects which allow them to pursue and employ great business optimisation opportunities and much better software solutions.

But, of course, it requires progressive leadership to make this a reality, so I’d like to thank Robert for sharing his insights on how to approach technology in pursuit of much better business outcomes and making work fun again.

The younger generation just won’t accept the sub-optimal. They have grown up with great B2C solutions and expect the same as they enter big businesses.

Closing thoughts and a question for CIOs

We had a great session in Zurich – so thank you Giles Breault and Costas for insightful and engaging presentations. And thanks to all attendees, including organisations such as Novartis, Roche, ABB, Hitaci and Lonza, for great discussions and a generally very positive vibe!

On a final note…a question for CIOs! With the emergence of the role of Chief Digital / Transformation Officer, and their often direct reporting line into CEOs, how will you avoid turning into a 2nd-level IT position – or worse – as the world transitions further into the next technological / industrial revolution?

Ragnar Lorentzen, HICX CCO, sharing his thoughts from the HICX / Beyond Group Breakfast Briefing, which took place at the Prime Tower, Zurich. Originally published on LinkedIn.

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