As companies pursue more digitally interconnected supply chain networks in 2021, the analyst group Gartner Inc. is tracking eight top technology themes with the greatest transformational potential, the group said today.
Those supply chain technology themes all share an ability to help users foster operational resiliency across business functions, technology, and service delivery, according to Christian Titze, vice president analyst with the Gartner Supply Chain practice.
For example, Gartner forecasts that the use of “hyperautomation” will likely grow over the next 10 years as people and businesses delegate more and more authority of decision making to intelligent applications, physical robots, and software service assistants, eventually supporting the creation of an autonomous supply chain.
And virtual reality-based “immersive experiences” could allow users to interact with parts of the supply chain that are now inaccessible. “Immersive experience technologies have the potential to radically influence the trajectory of supply chain management,” Titze said in a release. “It presents new interaction models through the product life cycle, not only with humans, but with other processes, machines, and applications. Pioneer companies already benefit from outcomes such as safer working environments, faster repair times, improved work error rate, better collaboration, and retention of skills and knowledge.”
The eight technologies are:
1. Hyperautomation, which is defined as the combination of technologies such as machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and robotic process automation (RPA) that can facilitate or automate tasks that originally required some form of human judgment or action.
2. Digital Supply Chain Twin (DSCT), a digital representation of the physical supply chain that serves as the basis for local and end-to-end (E2E) decision making.
3. Immersive experience, where users can perceive and interact with the virtual world through tools like head-mounted displays (HMDs), wearables, smartglasses, 5G, and even smartphones or tablets.
4. Edge ecosystems, which consist of edge computing and edge data processing applications, allowing companies to reassign large swaths of data processing capacity to the edges of enterprises, where things and people produce or make decisions.
5. Supply chain security that will bring together a more comprehensive approach to embrace security risks such as counterfeits or cybercrime holistically across the end to end (E2E) supply chain.
6. Environmental Social Governance (ESG) has a rising role as global supply chains have a pivotal role to play in their contribution to both map and assess ESG risks and opportunities.
7. Embedded AI and analytics software capabilities can deliver real-time reporting, interactive data visualization, and advanced analytics and intelligence directly into an enterprise business application.
8. Augmented data intelligence, which is a combination of several technologies that facilitate advanced data processing on top of a data lake/platform and further allow for the delivery of insightful information, predictions, and suggestions.