GUEST BLOG – The Role of Vendor Management System Technology in the Future of Work, Part I: A Foundation for the Years Ahead | DCR Workforce Blog

GUEST BLOG – The Role of Vendor Management System Technology in the Future of Work, Part I: A Foundation for the Years Ahead

The very concept of the Future of Work can be confounding to most executives and professionals. However, the main thing to understand is this: the underlying foundation of the Future of Work is essentially the mix of new strategies, solutions, technologies, and innovations that are paving the way for work optimization.

The question at hand for today’s organizations is clear: “How does work get done?” This inquiry, while obviously a “loaded” one considering the weight behind it, is actively pushing businesses to enhance and optimize the attributes of work, talent, labor, and enterprise operations. In Ardent’s annual State of Contingent Workforce Management research series, we wrote that:

The foundational elements to this new world of work, beyond the technological advancements fueling business operations, is the mindset behind how talent is engaged, sourced, and managed. Key business projects and initiatives are now addressed in an on-demand manner, and work in conjunction with a literal “talent revolution” in which more and more top-tier, highly-skilled workers are adopting a flexible work-style. The very core of work today is not only instituted on the transformation of enterprise thinking, but also the underlying components of work optimization.

Behind this mode of thinking is Ardent’s deep insights into this new world of work, which includes:

  • The “consumerization” of business via on-demand enablement of content, processes, intelligence, and, yes, talent.
  • New innovations, such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and machine learning, which are ushering in a new era of work optimization and digital transformation.
  • The interconnection of systems and devices (“Internet of Things”) that “speak” to each other to help businesses garner true visibility and real-time execution of operations.
  • The “evolution of talent,” in which more and more companies are harnessing the power and skillsets of non-employee labor.
  • “Transformational thinking” from the executive team to account for shifts in the greater market and economy, and;
  • The continued evolution of “traditional contingent workforce management (CWM) technology, particularly VMS.

Many long-time CWM program leads may be asking, “How does this impact me and my overall strategy?” The answer is simple: if the Future of Work is dependent on talent-led shifts in the market, then, the supporting foundation of technology utilized to support the greater CWM program must also be at the forefront of change. The truth is: VMS technology has long been the driving force behind advancements in contingent workforce management, and, as these platforms continue to not only address “more” of CWM-related talent and spend, they are also a big cog in the Future of Work wheel. As machine learning, artificial intelligence, and other Future of Work-era innovations become a part of the VMS experience (and, consequently, the users of VMS technology that are already tapping into these outlets), these “traditional” platforms will serve as the foundation for future success.

In part two of this series, I will further explore the role of VMS technology in the future of work, and ways in which VMS platforms like DCR’s Smart Track are applying emerging technologies to enable innovation and agility.


Christopher J. Dwyer
Vice President, Research
Ardent Partners

NOTE FROM DCR: As a partner to the industry’s leading experts and an annual sponsor of research into the future of work, DCR remains at the forefront of delivering “useful innovations”.  Stay tuned next week when Chris discusses ways in which your VMS system can reshape your approach to non-employee management.

The content on this blog is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for competent legal advice. They reflect the opinions of DCR Workforce and may not reflect the opinions of any individual attorney. Do contact an attorney for advice specific to your issue or problem.
Christopher J. Dwyer is a Research Director at Ardent Partners, a Boston-based supply management research and advisory firm. He is considered a thought leader in the contingent workforce management industry with recognition from HRO Today as an “Analyst and Advisor Superstar” in 2013, 2014, and 2015, as well as from Supply and Demand Chain Executive Magazine (named as a “Pro to Know” in 2013). He is a premier thought leader in this industry, authoring hundreds of research studies and evangelizing the evolution of the non-employee workforce, its technology platforms, and the concept of the “future of work.” He welcomes your comments at, on LinkedIn or Twitter (@CJD_Ardent). Visit to read more of his research.