One quarter of supply chain decisions will be made across intelligent edge ecosystems through 2025, as organizations turn away from centralized technology investments to more distributed networks enabled by improvements in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and fifth generation (5G) data communications, the analyst firm Gartner said today.
Edge ecosystems are different from the powerful computers located in data centers because they allow decisions to be made close to the original source of information, Stamford, Connecticut-based Gartner said.
That design enables data processing, communications, and storage to occur at the point of data capture, such as small sensors placed throughout a manufacturing or logistics operation. The approach is valuable because it creates more even workflows, distributes data capacity, and streamlines real-time responses, the firm said.
“Historically, digital supply chain investments prioritized large-scale, centralized applications in domains such as manufacturing and logistics,” Andrew Stevens, senior director analyst with the Gartner Supply Chain Practice, said in a release. “Edges are physical locations where things, people, and data connect. Increasingly, supply chains are becoming more dynamic and cover larger networks where data and decisions originate at the edge – from operators, machines, sensors, or devices.”
Edge computing is already being applied across many supply chains today, but Gartner says that companies over the next three years will strive to identify more “use cases” where connected automated and autonomous networks of edge decisions can be further enabled.
One example of a likely platform for that growing approach will be the swift rise of smart robots that are poised to transform warehouse operations. Gartner predicts that 75% of large enterprises will have adopted some form of smart robots in their warehouse operations by 2026 as they search for flexible automation.
“Labor availability constraints, rapidly rising labor rates and the residual impacts of COVID-19 will compel most companies to invest in cyber-physical systems, especially intralogistics smart robots,” Dwight Klappich, vice president analyst with the Gartner Supply Chain practice, said in a release. “The good news is that there are already many flexible robotics use cases, and it is important to evaluate the best fits to an organization’s specific needs.”
Gartner predicts 25% of supply chain decisions will be made across intelligent edge ecosystems through 2025. Read the press release to learn more: https://t.co/vm8Ns4HQhw #GartnerSC #Supplychain pic.twitter.com/EeFJ1A9nnw— Gartner (@Gartner_inc) January 19, 2022