Ready the Supply Chain for the IoT Storm

When we talk about the Internet of Things (IoT), most people think about the flood or wearables and connected devices that will be put into the hands of the consumers. This same trend, though, has the potential to transform, in good ways, supply chain management.

Research firm Gartner predicts that by 2020 there will be a thirtyfold increase in Internet-connected physical devices, reaching a 26 billion device installed base, up from just 0.9 billion five years ago.

“It's important to put IoT maturity into perspective, because of the fast pace at which it is emerging, so supply chain strategists need to be looking at its potential now,” said Michael Burkett, managing vice president at Gartner, in a press release. “Some IoT devices are more mature, such as commercial telematics now used in trucking fleets to improve logistics efficiency. Some, such as smart fabrics that use sensors within clothing and industrial fabrics to monitor human health or manufacturing processes, are just emerging.”

The potential flood of information from connected devices has the potential to let modern supply chains differentiate themselves with internal and external customers and suppliers. More information, utilized smartly, can translate into deeper market insight, more successful product launches, and smoother fulfillment activities, Gartner believes.

The infographic below, from DataStax, outlines some of the ways that the growth of IoT will change the way people live and do business. Take a look and let us know in the comments section how you think supply chain organizations should be trying to capture the promise of IoT.

— Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Editor in Chief, EBN Circle me on Google+ Follow me on Twitter Visit my LinkedIn page Friend me on Facebook

4 comments on “Ready the Supply Chain for the IoT Storm

  1. SunitaT
    November 15, 2014

    Thank you for the infographic Hailey. The only concern about the supply chain for IOT would be on the topic of security. IOT components may be handled (and shipped) using secure channels only because if not then we're looking at potential security risks.

  2. Anand
    November 17, 2014

    Transport and logistics seems to be the core matter in every IOT infographic, and that should be because IOT handling is difficult and components can get misplaced easily. With mobile logistics taking over standard run of the mill logistics, IOT shipment tracking and security will be handled adeptly.

  3. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    November 18, 2014

    @Tiriapur, security is a huge consideration and concern. The biggest problem is that we most often don't know what the hold in IoT security is until it has been exploited. Worse, if the invader is stealthy, information could be siphoned off for weeks or even months or years without anyone being any the wiser. Organizations are certainly going to have to think strategically about both IT security and risk management.

  4. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    November 18, 2014

    @anandvy, i agree that IoT and especially mobile have the potential to bolster logistics especially in the logistics industry. Why do you think that security will inevitably be handled adeptly though?

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