Supply chain tech trends will see more human/machine interplay, Gartner says

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The top trends in supply chain technology for 2024 will feature increased interplay between humans and machines, according to an analysis by the consulting firm Gartner Inc.

Those advancements in technology will provide supply chain technology leaders and chief supply chain officers (CSCOs) with opportunities to support new business models, augment and automate decision making, and foster ecosystem collaboration, the firm said. 

This year’s supply chain technology trends were driven by two broad themes: the need for supply chain leaders to leverage emerging technologies to control and protect their businesses, and new opportunities for competitive differentiation through the complementary integration of humans and machines. Specifically, Gartner has identified eight strategic supply chain technology trends for 2024 that will aid leaders in pursuit of those objectives:

  • Cyber Extortion. As cyber criminals begin to leverage AI, supply chain technology leaders should collaborate with IT leadership to confirm ransomware attack scenarios are included in the corporate risk management processes and develop a detailed ransomware incident response playbook.
  • Supply Chain Data Governance. The importance of maintaining a high level of data quality and strict governance process is becoming business mission critical, due to the emergence of powerful tools for advanced analytics and AI techniques.
  • End-to-end Sustainable Supply Chains. Sustainability-related legislation is growing globally and driving a shift from voluntary to regulatory compliance.
  • AI-Enabled Vision Systems. These novel, hyper-automation solutions combine industrial 3D cameras, computer vision software, and advanced AI pattern recognition technologies.
  • Augmented Connected Workforce. ACWF initiatives reduce the time required after onboarding for an employee to become fully productive and improve their decision making.
  • Composite AI. Combining the application of multiple AI techniques can improve the efficiency and accuracy of learning, compared to a “one-size-fits-all” approach.
  • Next-Generation Humanoid Working Robots. These platforms combine sensory awareness with mobile manipulation and dynamic locomotion to perform productive work that was previously relegated to biological humans.
  • Machine Customers. Nonhuman economic actors can autonomously obtain goods or services in exchange for payment, such as intelligent replenishment algorithms.

“These technology trends are not isolated, but rather interconnected and mutually reinforcing,” Dwight Klappich, VP Analyst and Fellow in the Gartner Supply Chain practice, said in a release. “Their importance will differ not only by organizational maturity, but also by industry, business needs and previously devised strategic plans. Innovative supply chain leaders will connect strategies and investments between multiple trends to help deliver on their mission-critical goals this year.”



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