Is Your Supply Management Organization Ready for Convergence?

According to this recent web exclusive over on CPO Agenda on how technology creates ever-changing leadership challenges, 70% of top executives from multinational companies agree that there is a danger in being overwhelmed by the complexity of change as whole industries are transformed by a trend called ‘convergence’.

So what is this convergence? According to wikipedia, it could be technological convergence which is defined as the tendency for different technological systems to evolve towards performing similar tasks. Today’s smart phone is one example. We had a phone, we had a PDA, we had a gaming system, and we had a wifi laptop for browsing the web. Now we have one device that does it all (and, in the case of Apple, an iPhone that puts the one ring to shame).

And it’s happening across the board. Automotive has to build hybrid cars with integrated GPS and satellite internet connectivity. Fashion and Medicine both have to deal with personalization and custom-fit (in the former, the shoe has to be printed exactly to your foot and in the latter, the drug has to be optimized to your DNA). And technology has to adapt to the other systems you have in place. Gone is the time where you could be a master of one thing. Now you have to be a jack-of-all-trades and a master of one. It’s a daunting task, and one you’re probably not ready for as it’s a requirement most of your people probably are not ready for.

But one thing is for certain, the next few decades will prove whether or not we are the most adaptive species on the planet, because if we’re not, the impending global economic collapse could end all of civilization as we know it. Either way, we will live in interesting times and China, which once upon a time was the most powerful civilization in the world, will have its revenge.