When we talk about the Internet of Things (IoT), most people think about the flood of 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, utilised smartly, can translate into deeper market insight, more successful product launches, and smoother fulfilment activities, Gartner believes. The infographic here, 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 organisations should be trying to capture the promise of IoT. - Hailey Lynne Mckeefry EBN