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Industry insight and commentary that addresses supply chain issues


Global Tech Leaders Identify the Technology You Can't Afford to Ignore

Posted by Katy Schamberger on Dec 3, 2015 12:57:54 PM

Technology evolves quickly—so quickly, in fact, that it can be tempting to tune out the tech chatter. If you’re a stakeholder or decision-maker in your company, how do you know what new technology to pursue? In KPMG’s fourth annual Global Technology Innovation Survey, 832 technology industry business leaders from around the globe offered their input on a wide variety of tech-related topics, including identifying the technologies that will have the greatest impact on driving business transformation over the next 3 years. Let’s take a look at their top four responses.

Cloud Computing

With so much talk surrounding the cloud, it’s no surprise that cloud computing topped the list. More companies are opting to migrate their business processes (including enterprise software systems) to a secure cloud platform and, as a result, enable benefits that include increased business agility and scalability, as well as increased efficiency as a direct result of faster delivery of services.

One of the important factors to note about the cloud is that it’s evolved past an emerging trend. Instead, it’s so widespread that a majority of businesses are using the cloud in some form. And that means if your business isn’t using the cloud, it’s time to give cloud migration serious consideration. Among our top priorities is anticipating customer needs and delivering the technology solutions to fulfill those needs, including helping companies migrate to the cloud as easy and as fast as possible so that they can spend less time getting to the cloud and more time actually using it.

Internet of Things/Machine-to-Machine

Machine-to-machine (M2M) integration isn’t new technology. In fact, it’s something we’ve helped our customers do for years to increase efficiency by enabling communication among previously disparate pieces of equipment like scales, conveyors and more. Yet by enhancing machine-to-machine integration with the more sophisticated and pervasive connectivity enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT), companies can support a larger, potentially dynamic number of individual devices that might include thermal sensors and GPS devices, among others.

IoT and M2M hold powerful promise for a variety of industries, and that’s especially true in the supply chain. Consider, for example, a major foods manufacturer that used the DSI Digital Supply Chain Platform (DSCP)TM to facilitate communication between software systems through M2M integration. As a result, the leading manufacturer of breakfast cereal brands removed manual data entry from its manufacturing processes, thereby reducing associated delays and errors. That M2M integration helped make possible an automated, robotic warehouse through real-time, seamless data integration between back-end systems and an interface between the ERP and high-density pallet storage and retrieval system software.

Data and Analytics

Data and analytics tied with IoT/M2M in the percentage of responses (9%), and we wouldn’t be surprised to see this topic rank even higher next year. A veritable mountain of information flows through your company and supply chain on a daily basis. And now, thanks to more sophisticated technology like sensors, scanners and other connected devices, that information is more granular than ever, giving companies a level of detail that ranges from product environment temperatures to minute-by-minute equipment performance.

Yet in a data-driven digital marketplace, you can’t just collect the information—you have to analyze it, too, to not only monitor daily operational performance, but also gather the insights that inform workflow improvements and real-time, proactive decision-making. By adding an analytics solution to your workflow, you can not only view that data, typically broken down into operational KPIs, but also share it with other company stakeholders or trading partners for full visibility into what’s happening throughout your supply chain wherever that business takes place.

Mobile Platform and Apps

Think mobile’s had its heyday? Not by a long shot. After all, mobile-optimizing your business processes with mobile apps that enable your employees to work efficiently wherever business happens is a critical step in moving toward digital business operations. It’s been fascinating to watch the evolution of mobile technology and mobile apps as they’ve moved from simple prompt-and-response interfaces to the rich, gesture-driven consumer apps that offer a sophisticated front-end experience.

Helping companies leverage the capabilities of mobile technology has been our primary focus for years and forms the foundation of our technology portfolio, including the DSCP and supply chain solutions that equip your company for competitive growth, no matter where your business happens.

Case in point? Old Dutch Foods, which first used the DSCP to facilitate secure, real-time updates between mobile devices and the back-end system. The company later extended its investment and used DSI's Digital Supply Chain Platform to create an off-premise mobile app so that field sales employees could optimize direct store delivery operations, giving them more time to focus on selling instead of cumbersome administrative work.

Findings like these are strong indicators of the types of technology that are having the biggest impact in the marketplace—and although you don’t necessarily need to be using all of them right now, you’ve got to be thinking about them and considering ways that these technologies can help you solve pervasive business challenges while also enabling you to optimize your business processes.

Interested in using cloud, IoT/M2M, data and analytics and/or mobile in your business but aren’t sure where to start? Contact us and we’d be happy to share more information—including projected business benefits—to help move your company’s technology journey forward.

Topics: DSI Cloud Platform, mobile platform, Platform & Technology

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