Technology Trends 2019 – The digital world now controls the physical one

At this time each year Ti tries to identify some of the technologies that we believe will have an impact on the logistics and supply chain industry over the next 12 months. In Technology Trends 2019, Ti advisory board member Ken Lyon concentrates on a few specific issues in detail.

The digital world now controls the physical one

As we transition to a post-industrial society in many parts of the world, how we experience and interact with everything is primarily through a digital lens. But the adoption varies widely by sector according to resources, legislation and competitive advantage/threat. Many organisations now have a range of systems supporting their operations. How relevant or effective they are depends on a range of factors.

Increasingly, companies use technology to interconnect them with other trading partners as well as providing information to their customers. These networks have enabled companies to become more responsive and occasionally much more agile in dealing with problems. The best of them use their technology to compete more effectively. Clearly, technology and particularly effective information systems, are the key to being able to compete in today’s market.

However, these systems do not act in isolation. In the developed world almost every modern artefact now has some form of embedded technology. This digitisation of the world will only increase and as developing economies assert themselves they will exploit technology to compete. They will also have the advantage of not requiring integration with existing legacy infrastructure, which means they will be able to adapt to change faster and probably at lower cost. This is a huge competitive threat for established organisations that may be resistant to change, or unable to change quickly enough.

Often, the sheer size and scope of many companies makes it very hard to initiate any change without a co-ordinated effort across the enterprise. The problems faced by internal information services departments include supporting outdated applications, hiring personnel, constrained budgets, and many more, while the challenge is even more difficult if the enterprise in question is a ‘public’ company with shares traded on a public exchange. Being able to experiment with new ideas and new business processes is very hard to accomplish within an existing business, especially if it is disruptive.

In Technology Trends 2019, Ti looks in detail at the potential impact of disruptive technologies over the next 12 months. The paper examines electric and autonomous vehicles, visibility in the supply chain, systems architectures, application platforms, and 5G networks, as well as offering insights into how these technologies may come to transform the supply chain and logistics industry.


Technology Trends 2019 is available to all GSCi subscribers. For further information, please contact [email protected]

Source: Transport Intelligence, January 17, 2019

Author: Transport Intelligence


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