Modernizing the Supply Chain & Its Implications for Technology

By Susan Fourtané, Science & Technology Writer, Februari 27, 2014,

According to IDC Manufacturing Insight’s report for the worldwide manufacturing supply chain industry, this year the supply chain technology investment will involve a radical modernization to existing systems and also the incorporation of new approaches. All of this is expected to increase over the coming years, and by the end of 2018 achieve the predicted goal that puts supply chains on top of the list of leading revenue along industries.

As predicted by IDC and with a promising future ahead in 2014, supply chains will focus on modernizing their existing systems without the CFO getting off the budget. Instead, organizations will adopt and modernize according to the company’s needs and always with an eye to maximizing return on investment (ROI). The areas chosen for investment will determine great results in improving capabilities. The investment will usually take the form of third platform technologies, such as mobile computing, social networking, cloud services, and big-data analytics technologies.

Modernization and its implications for technology 
Modernization has always been a never-ending process in every industry along the history of humanity, and supply chains are not the exception. Taking into account operational resiliency as an important, ongoing theme for global supply chains, there are some implications for technology. IDC Manufacturing Insight has put together the following list:

  • Faster and more integrated planning, in terms of both better linkages to demand signals and deeper scenario planning
  • A broader adoption of cloud-based tools, for edge applications like transportation management, but also in key orchestrating capabilities like sales and operations planning (S&OP)
  • Supply chain risk and resilience investments, particularly in supply chain monitoring and visibility
  • Renewed interest in the data management organization (DMO), with key participation from IT
  • Investments in execution excellence, notably around more integrated supply chain execution and the delivery of “product-wrapped services”

More IT professionals, more tech savvy 
Industries constantly evolve and change. Looking for ways to modernize the supply chain is in order. With the implications for technology mentioned above, one can only think that this modernization is also going to put new and evolving demands on IT departments. Long gone are the days when only one IT savvy person in the company was enough to solve all the difficulties and bring state-of-the-art technology to the day-to-day enterprise routine. Today, with emerging technologies blooming like wild daisies in spring it is necessary to counter with an IT team big enough and capable enough to deal with new things emerging and changing on a daily basis. Continuous modernization will always be the most beneficial choice.