Ready to Live on the Edge?

Driven by evolving communications networks, such as 5G, 25% of supply chain decisions will be made across intelligent edge ecosystems by 2025, a Gartner report predicts.

Edge ecosystems transform operations by bringing decision-making close to the original source of information. They help bring data processing, communications, and storage together to create even workflows and streamline real-time responses to stakeholders, Gartner says.

Advances in data communications services, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 5G, will support edge ecosystems and complement traditional supply chain solutions with more virtualized and remote networks processing data.

Edge computing decision-making is already occurring in many supply chains, Gartner says, and the focus during the next three years will be figuring out how to further enable automated networks of edge decisions.

Interest in flexible automation for logistics operations is rising. Gartner predicts that 75% of large businesses will adopt some form of intralogistics smart robots in their warehouse operations by 2026. Smart intralogistics robots are cyber-physical robotic automation primarily used for warehouses and distribution centers. Labor constraints, rapidly rising labor rates, and the residual impacts of the pandemic will compel most companies to invest, the report says.

These solutions address the need to automate certain processes by adding intelligence, guidance, and sensory awareness, allowing them to operate independently. Many flexible robots use cases exist, Gartner says, such as transporting pallets of goods, delivering goods to a person, and picking individual items. They can be implemented quickly and inexpensively, and can be easily scaled to better manage the peaks and valleys of fluctuating demand.

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