Gartner: This Year’s Top Tech Trends

March 26, 2024
By Sue Doerfler

Technology is playing an ever-increasing role in the success of companies as they seek greater visibility into all levels of their supply chains, as well as innovation and new opportunities.

Advancement in technologies can enhance strategic decision-making, improve efficiencies and promote ecosystem collaboration, according to Gartner. The Stamford, Connecticut-based research consultancy and advisory has determined eight technology trends slated to make a difference this year.

“This year’s trends are driven by themes that encourage supply chain technology leaders to ensure their foundation can support both past and future investments, while also looking ahead for new differentiation opportunities,” said Christian Titze, vice president analyst in Gartner’s supply chain practice, in a press release. “AI (artificial intelligence) variants continue to be both a driver of trends, such as in robotics, and a trend itself, this year represented by ‘Composite AI.’ ”

According to Gartner, this year’s trends can be categorized by two themes: (1) leveraging emerging technologies to manage the business and (2) integrating humans and machines for increased competitiveness.

The top trends in supply chain technology for 2024 are:

1) Cyber extortion. AI has many potential benefits for supply management organizations, but for cyber criminals, it could be a conduit for generating advanced cyberattack tools. “Supply chain technology leaders should collaborate with IT leadership to confirm ransomware attack scenarios are included in the corporate risk-management processes and develop a detailed ransomware incident response playbook,” according to Gartner.

2) Supply chain data governance. Considering the increased use of advanced analytics and AI, supply management leaders and their organizations should consider data quality and a strict governance process as paramount.

3) End-to-end sustainable supply chains. Legislation around sustainability is becoming more prevalent globally, which calls for increased data accuracy.

4) AI-enabled vision systems. “AI-enabled vision systems are novel hyper-automation solutions that combine industrial 3-D cameras, computer vision software and advanced AI pattern recognition technologies” to interpret and make real-time deductions, Gartner says.

5) Augmented connected workforce. Using advanced technology and intelligent devices, augmented connected workforce (ACWF) initiatives can enable new employees to become more quickly fully productive.

6) Composite AI. Incorporating multiple AI techniques to increase the efficiency and accuracy of learning, this trend ultimately aids in driving supply chain performance improvements.

7) Next-generation humanoid working robots. Such robots have the ability to “combine sensory awareness with mobile manipulation and dynamic locomotion to perform productive work that was previously relegated to biological humans,” Gartner states.

8) Machine customers. “Machine customers are nonhuman economic actors that autonomously obtain goods or services in exchange for payment,” according to Gartner. They include Internet of Things (IoT)-connected “devices or assets that place orders independently of a human command, intelligent replenishment algorithms that maintain availability of consumables and intelligent assistants that suggest deals to consumers.”

(Image credit: Getty Images/Enot-Poloskon)

About the Author

Sue Doerfler

About the Author

As Senior Writer for Inside Supply Management® magazine, I cover topics, trends and issues relating to supply chain management.