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Learning and insights from Gartner's 2024 predicts for supply chain technology

Technology continues to play a pivotal role in supply chain management, driving innovation and enhancing competitive advantage. According to Gartner's latest predictions for 2024, supply chain organisations emphasise leveraging emerging technologies to support digital transformation. Let's delve into the key findings and recommendations outlined in Gartner's report, highlighting the trends that will shape the future of supply chain technology.

Let's delve into the key findings and recommendations outlined in Gartner's report, highlighting the trends that will shape the future of supply chain technology.

Investing for competitive advantage

Gartner's 2022 Supply Chain Technology User Wants and Needs (UWaN) Survey reveals a resounding consensus among industry professionals — technology is a critical enabler of competitive advantage. With nearly 500 respondents across diverse industries, the commitment to technology investments is evident. An impressive 40% of respondents plan to increase their investments in various supply chain applications, emphasising the pivotal role of technology in gaining a competitive edge.

Key areas of focus: Labour, intelligence, edge and security

Gartner identifies four major areas of emerging technology investment that will drive supply chain advancements.

1. Labour: Automation and workforce engagement

The growing challenge of finding, hiring, and retaining frontline labour is prompting a surge in automation. Gartner predicts that by 2028, there will be more smart robots than frontline workers in manufacturing, retail, and logistics.
Workforce engagement tools, including gamification, will also become essential for motivating and retaining talent.

2. Intelligence: GenAI driving decision-making

In response to the increasing complexity and volatility of supply chains, companies are investing in technologies like GenAI to enhance decision-making speed, quality, and robustness.
By 2028, 25% of supply chain KPI reporting is expected to be powered by GenAI models.

3. Edge: Cloud-native and edge-driven solutions

Advances in sensor technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT) are facilitating the collection of richer sets of sensor data. Companies are exploring cloud-native and edge-driven solutions to optimise processes.

Gartner predicts that by 2027, 80% of manufacturing operations management solutions will be cloud-native and edge-driven, closing the IT/OT convergence gap.

4. Security: Addressing cyber threats with SBOMs

With cybersecurity becoming a top concern for supply chain leaders, Gartner recommends identifying and remediating known cyber vulnerabilities by implementing software bills of materials (SBOMs).

By 2026, 15% of supply chain software offerings are expected to utilise SBOMs to counter cyberattacks.

Strategic planning assumptions for 2024

Gartner's predictions for the next few years include:

Embracing the technology

As supply chain technology continues to evolve, organisations must proactively embrace these emerging trends. Whether through the adoption of robotics, harnessing the power of GenAI, exploring cloud-native solutions, or enhancing cybersecurity with SBOMs, the path to success lies in staying ahead of the curve.

Supply chain technology leaders are urged to lay the groundwork for the integration of robots, harness data-driven insights through GenAI, explore cloud computing in manufacturing, adopt emerging workforce management tools, and fortify cybersecurity measures. By aligning strategies with these predictions, organisations can navigate the future of supply chain technologies and position themselves for sustained success in the competitive landscape.

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This company has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement number 849938