What new tech will your supply chain invest in this year? Source: Shutterstock

What new tech will your supply chain invest in this year? Source: Shutterstock

AI and analytics lead Gartner’s vision for supply chain tech

SUPPLY CHAINS are interesting.

They’re composed of several stakeholders of varying levels of digital maturity, which means, an overall upgrade is quite complicated — but successful transformations can yield great results.

In today’s world, there are several enterprise technology solutions that can help supply chains make rapid improvements in terms of efficiency and productivity. Choosing between artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), and 5G can be tough.

According to Gartner, AI and advanced analytics lead the list of technologies that will make the biggest impact on supply chains this year.

“AI supports the shift to broader supply chain automation that many organizations are seeking,” said Gartner Research VP Christian Titze.

“For example, AI can enhance risk mitigation by analyzing large sets of data, continuously identifying evolving patterns, and predicting disruptive events along with potential resolutions.”

Build on the same fundamentals as AI, advanced analytics can also produce exciting results for the supply chain industry.

Advanced analytics span predictive analytics — those that identify data patterns and anticipate future scenarios — as well as prescriptive analytics — a set of capabilities that finds a course of action to meet a predefined objective.

The increased availability of Internet of Things (IoT) data and extended external data sources such as weather or traffic conditions allow organizations to anticipate future scenarios and make better recommendations in areas such as supply chain planning, sourcing, and transportation.

“Advanced analytics is not new, but their impact on today’s supply chains are significant. They will help organizations become more proactive and actionable in managing their supply chains, both in taking advantage of future opportunities and avoiding potential future disruptions.”

The other technologies on Gartner’s list are IoT, robotic process automation, autonomous things, digital supply chain twin, immersive experiences, and blockchain.

Overall, however, it seems as though a comprehensive approach is required when it comes to upgrading supply chains.

Most of the technologies that Gartner has suggested are great individually. However, their fundamental unit is data — which means, they all can be combined to take supply chains to the next level.

Flipping that over, it also means companies need to think about data if they want to leverage technology to transform themselves.

At the end of the day, for supply chain professionals looking to really go all in with digital, the focus should be on getting their data platform right.

Once that is in place, they must follow Gartner’s advice with regards to the top technologies that can provide maximum returns in this space. That’s what will produce the best results this year.