New Technology as a Driver of Change

  • Celestica  |
  • 2018-11-08
New Technology as a Driver of Change Blog Header

In the last decade, with the advent of big data, cloud computing, social networking and always-on mobile, we have seen an acceleration of technology-driven change unmatched at any point in history. Digital disruption can come from anywhere, at any time and impact a range of markets from healthcare and aerospace to communications and utilities.

When you think about the constant state of change, it is not surprising to hear that 35% of supply chain executives believe a current digital transformation-enabled competitor will have gained a competitive advantage in their markets within the next year*, and 32% believe it to be an external digitally-enabled competitor. Five years from now, it is 62% and 56%*. The conclusion? Transform or risk irrelevance.

New Technology Outranks Growth and Cost Savings

Our recent study with research firm IDC entitled, “Surviving Supply Chain Disruption – Digitally Transforming from Innovation to Execution” identified that a majority of manufacturer respondents ranked new technology as the top area driving change in their business. This is the first time new technology was ranked as the top driver influencing change - outranking growth, cost savings or customer retainment. 

Today, we’re seeing first hand how new technologies are driving a new cycle of innovation that will have a lasting impact across the manufacturing landscape. The promise and the peril of those technologies can be a potential challenge or richly-rewarding pursuit for most companies. Whether it is the former or the latter mostly depends on a manufacturer’s ability to quickly react and use new technologies to navigate the disruption and digital transformation (DX) journey while keeping their eye on the ball - to continue delivering superior products, services and customer experiences. 

The Best Preparation is Embracing the True Meaning of DX

While each manufacturer’s DX journey will possess unique attributes and challenges, all of them know the journey’s desired end-game. Ultimately, DX is about the application of applying new technologies for improved decision-making. That improvement begins in the supply chain where companies need to ensure their technology toolsets and partner ecosystems possess the flexibility to meet emerging customer needs and the capability to create value.

Consideration needs to be given to the connections upstream to innovation processes and downstream to manufacturing and aftermarket sales/service so that supply chain plans, risk models, and capabilities can be properly and holistically vetted.

Find the Right Balance on the Risk Pendulum when Applying New Technologies

Change is coming at manufacturers fast. It is going to require accelerated decision-making in this new world we define as the Acceleration Economy. Manufacturers who are too risk-averse and wary of applying new technologies will be left behind. The same can be said for manufacturers who implement new technologies in haste. Finding the right balance is not easy in today’s environment but is far more achievable when manufacturers tap into the expertise up and down their supply chain. The right strategic partner ecosystem will help position companies to achieve long term success on their DX journey.

*IDC Study, “Surviving Supply Chain Disruption – Digitally Transforming from Innovation to Execution