What’s ahead for usage, implementation and developments across the broad spectrum of digital technologies in the coming months?
By Carol Miller, MHI Vice President of Marketing and Communications
There’s been an abundance of media coverage over the past few years breathlessly detailing the widespread and abundant benefits supply chains will be reaping over the next decade from numerous Next-Gen, digital technologies.
But what about the immediate future, say, the next 12 months? Where will innovations such as advanced analytics; artificial intelligence (AI); autonomous robots, drones and vehicles; blockchain; cloud computing; digital supply chain twins; Internet of Things (IoT); robotics and automation; and virtual and augmented realities (VR/AR) make an impact in 2020?
To answer those questions, MHI Solutions queried a cross section of industry experts. Asked to dust off their short-term crystal balls, each shared their expectations for these technologies’ immediate developments within supply chains across implementations, usage and innovations. All noted that the successful application of one digital innovation nearly always requires simultaneous implementation and use of others—meaning it’s difficult to discuss predictions about one without including its synergetic relationship to another technology (or technologies).
In fact, Thomas Boykin, a leader of Deloitte Consulting’s Supply Chain Network Optimization practice and lead researcher of the MHI Annual Industry Report, predicts an overarching trend spanning all of these digital technologies: a greater comprehension that they are complimentary and should be adopted as suites.
“As the digital revolution continued, the companies leading the pace of adoption of these technologies are the ones whose chief financial officer has been convinced that the whole is far greater than the sum of the parts,” he said. “These digital solutions don’t work in a silo. They all work in concert, and finally some CFOs are beginning to comprehend that it’s not possible to make an individual business case for each individual technology. In 2020 we’ll see more companies figure out how to properly bundle these innovations to make a proven business case—and investments can flow.”