Technology trends that will dominate 2022: Cloud computing and high-speed data transfer
Technology development of cloud computing services is anticipated to alter freight and logistics operators’ investment decisions. As more ‘as-a-service’ solutions become available, digitalization is becoming less of a capital expenditure and more of an operating expense. According to recent research by Transport Intelligence on the top technological trends for 2022, high-speed internet connection is progressively enabling industry growth by minimizing the time delay in corporate interactions.
Cloud computing arose as a result of ever-faster connections, allowing companies to store and exchange data with server farms located anywhere instead of establishing their own server and data storage facilities. Just-in-time delivery is a supply chain parallel, and the technology is helping new enterprises minimize entry costs and reduce time-to-market.
This trend, which TI refers to as “opex not capex,” occurs when software and the processing power needed to run it are rented rather than purchased or licensed, resulting in an “explosion in online services and solutions… priced comparable to the business models of the old phone companies.”
“It enables numerous small enterprises to enter the market and service clients from a much lower cost basis… this makes future competition about ideas, innovation, and execution,” argues report author Ken Lyon.
Hardware has “transitioned from huge, expensive mainframe units and servers that belonged within organizations to enormous (and invisible) server farms controlled by cloud service companies,” he says.
This allows for considerably more energy-efficient computing as well; a data center is more probable to have the critical mass to switch to renewable energy, whereas a computer cabinet in an office is unlikely to.
Energy costs are the most important consideration for a server farm, and many have been built in Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, where hydro-electric and geothermal energy sources are abundant, and cooler ambient temperatures lighten the burden on cooling systems, resulting in cost savings and a competitive edge.
FourKite’s acquired NIC-place, a German carrier-facing service provider, and TI believes this is the beginning of many such events as standards for information-sharing between platforms become more established.
“Application programming interfaces (APIs) are already the de facto standard for effortlessly transferring data across systems and services; this trend will continue, and these gateways will grow more straightforward to construct.”
Machine-to-machine communications, sometimes known as the “internet of things,” will increasingly automate these forms of connections (IOT).
The “often frantic” world of cryptocurrencies and “non-fungible tokens” obscures the value of the technologies that underpin them: “…this might be quite significant for supply chain visibility.” The idea of an intelligent network that can respond to alarms or alerts and replan and reschedule tasks without human intervention is appealing, according to the paper.
This could open up tremendous potential for supply chain suppliers, but it will also necessitate increased monitoring and cybersecurity. Regardless of cybercrime, these developments will lead to better data access for both providers and customers, as standardization enables better integration, shorter time to market, as remote servers drive down computing costs, and more agile businesses, as autonomous systems cultivate the ability to self-repair.
Mr. Lyon points out, however, that “adopting new technologies takes time, especially within large organizations.” “However, because the pressure to accept new technologies will continue to grow, businesses must learn to adapt and be more open-minded about the decisions they will have to make.” “This is especially tough for senior personnel who have constructed their career pathways around outdated assumptions,” he adds.