Roddy Martin, VP, Global SCM Thought Leadership and SCM Product Marketing
If you haven’t heard, this year’s Modern Supply Chain Experience (MSCE) was our largest ever, and I couldn’t have been more proud of our organization or the suite of cloud products we presented. When I think of everything that Oracle has accomplished in the supply chain industry over the last 18 months – to be able to watch committed technologists stand on stage and exclaim over and over again that Oracle is driving business transformation – it’s truly remarkable.
And while everything at the event went off without a hitch, if anything, this year’s MSCE showed me that it’s not just Oracle that has changed. The entire supply chain ecosystem has changed as well. The customers. The analysts. All of it has fundamentally transformed. In fact, customers matured well before the tools did. Collectively, we’ve reached a clutch point, and if any major enterprise wants to thrive in a digital economy then the time has come to start moving services, architecture, and infrastructure into the cloud and embracing new emerging technologies like IoT, advanced analytics, blockchain and AI.
Because the marketplace and demand is already there – and customers and the market are not going to wait around.
30 years or more has passed since the introduction of the AS400 green screen and the on premises supply chain solutions it ran. We all know those solutions were beasts of burden and they helped the supply chain industry usher in a global marketplace that co existed with ERP. They held up for a long time. But it’s amazing how far behind the rest of the technology world Supply Chains became as time moved on. You can only tinker and patch a system so long before it’s just not worth it anymore – especially when it’s not pegged to the reality of a connected and networked marketplace.
The systems aren’t bad. They’re just straining to meet a demand well beyond their capacity. They can’t scale and are complex – no matter how much bubble gum and string is used to keep them together.
Organizations from the previous era that employed these old systems were IT and data centric. They needed to be in order to keep their machine running, and maintenance upkeep was intense and expensive. However, that’s not the case anymore with new emerging technologies. At least it doesn’t have to be. If you look at organizations today, they are fundamentally transforming their capabilities. We hear the “transformation” word everywhere, but what does it really mean? Simply this. The IT centric model whose purpose it was to keep the business system running is going away and being replaced by a new architecture of people, process, and technology aimed at enabling new demand driven business models. We’re able to have new collaborative conversations now, see across company and systems boundaries and predictively analyze data. Going forward supply chains will use IT for business innovation and not patch management. It’s a different conversation entirely and businesses are now more ready than ever, and willing to have it.
And it’s this shift that so many people at MSCE marveled at – how thorough and complete an end-to-end Cloud SCM suite could be – how ready it is to scale to meet demand and safely carry businesses into a new demand-driven paradigm.
SCM Professionals and IT Support no longer have to worry about the complexity of keeping their supply chains afloat and being on the treadmill of integrating disparate systems. They get to acquire and develop new skill sets such as predictive analytics and work on new emerging and exciting technologies that fundamentally allow new capabilities and work practices. Isn’t that where businesses want to be – looking for opportunities to expand their business and operating models with technological advances in IoT and Blockchain?
Make no mistake – I saw it all week at MSCE – the supply chain world is more dynamic and alive than I have ever seen it. We are transitioning to an era of continuous process improvement and technology transformation; with people and process holistically embedded in the solution. With an overarching cloud-based suite that’s built to support a connected marketplace and supply system. The time is now where supply chain professionals can design and operate the future they want – process oriented, end to end, and technology enabled.
My advice. Are you building a supply chain today? Then you have to think 5 to 7 years ahead of where you are, design for the future, and deploy incrementally based on business value add. That’s how you’ll keep from being left behind or get stuck on deploying capabilities that only solve today’s problems. Don’t design for today. Design and develop for the future.
Your partners exist. An ecosystem exists. See your business vision become reality. And then when it’s time – build your future on us. Build it on Oracle’s cloud based solutions and change your paradigm.
For more videos and information keep an eye on the 2018 MSCE Website.