When the norm for computer operations was locating all computing resources within a single location IT concentrated on maintaining frequent and accessible backups to the company data. Copies of the backup were moved offsite. Some organizations even created replication sites where they installed duplicate (but usually smaller) systems that could be brought online by restoring the offsite backup in the case of a local disaster that rendered the main facilities unavailable. For a lot of companies, the process and practice has changed... mostly for the better.
What's the difference between tracking individual items using IoT technology and RFID technology? Aside from the costs associated with each - Oh wait! It's the costs of each that 's keeping both from gaining ground. Both technologies can provide item level identification but RFID can now be considered 'old' tech while IoT (Internet of Things) is the current darling of the development world. Here's what I see happening over the next few years.
You already know that IoT is a term used to loosely identify items that have been imbued with enough intelligence and communication abilities to send messages across the internet. First of all, this means that these items are not human in the ways we normally think of humans using computers to send information via the Internet. But that doesn't mean that some of these 'things' can't be humans, or at least humans carrying with devices that do the communicating for them. The connections and the information are triggered by conditions as they change.
Ever get billed by your bank for car insurance when you don't own a car? Does your cell phone provider fail to send you a bill, yet keeps asking you for your address? Sounds like they both have a Master Data Management problem. The recent emphasis on regulatory compliance, Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) and mergers/acquisitions has made the creating and maintaining of accurate and complete master data a business must-do.
I've harped on the use of big data in the supply chain a few times already. In fact, historically one of the issues with the supply chain in general and EDI specifically is the amount of data generated by the plethora of transactions moving between trading partners. And as the demands for visibility increase so does the number and complexity of the documents.
One of the first things to do when a computer system is implemented is to make a backup. This probably seems like a simple statement, and one that any enterprise serious about keeping their business alive has accounted for and has put on auto-pilot. But that's exactly the point. Every business has dedicated staff that is fully engaged with the business of their business, and that includes keeping the business functions running despite system failures. But what if those failures take place outside your own walls.
Supply chain connectivity, transparency, visibility, and overall success depends on connecting the various pieces of your company's IT infrastructure. And yes, EDI is a segment of IT. It's also a segment of logistics, accounting, marketing, and several other functions but since it depends on the movement of data, EDI falls under the broad definition of IT - Information Technology. So how are your IT components connected?
Technology is always changing. The current trend is to move more of what was once entirely populated by local and discrete computing devices to virtual instances. The results can be significantly beneficial in terms of management as well as lowering expenses. There are of course, arguments on both sides - some well founded and some strictly based on opinion. The video below takes a lighthearted view of the differences.
We've been exploring supply chain visibility for some time, and most of the discussion has been around the transactions and understanding the status of the goods as well as the status of the various documents that accompany and enable the transactions. But there's an even deeper level of transparency that is inching its way into the supply chain even though the overall consensus is that there are too many obstacles in the way of full deployment. The use of RFID tags for nearly every consumer product may well be approaching reality.