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True supply chain integration and full end-to-end shipment visibility – the holy grail for freight shippers – is finally at hand, thanks to advances in artificial intelligence, predictive analytics and the Internet of Things.
Early movers will reap dramatic benefits, but execution will be a complex process as supply chain partners – shippers, transportation and logistics providers, warehouses and intermediaries – absorb and exchange massive data flows among people, systems and devices. An estimated 23 billion connected IoT devices worldwide is expected to more than triple to 75 billion by 2025, with 70% deployed in business-to-business (B2B) applications: inventory management; supply chain visibility and responsiveness; order tracking; and inventory replenishment.
Supply chain partners will need to first undertake digital transformation (DX) across their core operations to share data collected in multiple formats across a common, single-window platform. Data generated in the field – weather and traffic patterns, terminal dwell time, location and condition of freight in the container, equipment maintenance issues – will be accessible to relevant parties in real time, many of them unrelated suppliers and vendors. Security will be critical: How can firms be sure that only the right people are seeing only the right actionable data they need when they need it?
The answer is identity and access management (IAM), using big data and AI to assign, continuously update and manage identities for each person, system and device across the supply chain, underneath the single-window user interface.
A Canadian company headquartered in Detroit offering cloud-based AI and IoT software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions shares its experience implementing IAM in one of the world’s most complex supply chains, automotive parts – a global exchange of more than 100,000 organizations and 615,000 supplier users.
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