MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Dec. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Collaboration is an essential tool to maintain a transparent, bi-directional channel of communication between stakeholders in a supply chain. This connected and centralized collaborative supply chain provides a singular view of goods and services, strengthens the supplier-buyer relationship through value enhancement, and increases productivity – all of which warrants capitalization on innovations in the information and communication technologies (ICT) domain.
Therefore, the development of technologies and platforms for communication and data capture in the supply chain are major focus areas for ICT developers, according to Frost & Sullivan's analysis, ICT Innovations Enabling Collaborative Supply Chains. Applications geared towards logistics and transport management are also garnering interest, along with analytical and forecasting solutions for social behavior tracking, carbon emission tracking, and reverse logistics.
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"Various technologies like radio-frequency identification, big data, the Internet of Things, and in-memory technology play a vital role in creating the collaboration platform," said Frost & Sullivan Technical Insights Senior Research Analyst Swapnadeep Nayak. "The need to share information over a single platform at low costs especially accelerated the implementation of cloud computing in the collaborative supply chain process."
This, however, raises security concerns regarding data sharing, which remains a key challenge for ICT technologies. Strong network security technologies and protocols must be established to protect confidential information shared across different levels of the supply chain from hacking and security breaches.
The lack of knowledge among stakeholders is another challenge that curbs the potential benefits of the collaborative supply chain model. Hence, initiatives from standardization bodies and technology developers to raise awareness among stakeholders on the benefits of sharing data in a collaborative set-up are vital.
"Hybrid apps deployed to work both on web platforms and in a native system could help customers reduce security issues in the collaboration process," noted Nayak. "In fact, though technologies like cloud and Big Data are emerging in this space, hybrid applications built on the HTML 5 platform can also be deployed to improve the process of collaboration and present more flexibility to customers in terms of security and accessibility."
Offering offline capabilities through the native applications approach will further help users gain access to the system from any location – such as rural areas where Internet connectivity is not available easily – thereby enhancing the reach for mobile users in the collaborative supply chain.
ICT Innovations Enabling Collaborative Supply Chains, a part of the Technical Insights (http://www.technicalinsights.frost.com) subscription, provides insights on how ICT may evolve to accelerate collaboration among supply chain stakeholders. It also offers an in-depth perspective on the road ahead, the capability and maturity of the ICT technologies enabling collaboration, and recommendations for stakeholders to enhance penetration. Further, this research service includes detailed technology analysis and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
Technical Insights is an international technology analysis business that produces a variety of technical news alerts, newsletters and research services.
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ICT Innovations Enabling Collaborative Supply Chains
Corporate Communications – North America
SOURCE Frost & Sullivan