Supply-chain resiliency poised to become a competitive differentiator
While COVID-19 cases have decreased globally, the long-term impact of the virus continues to ricochet throughout the economy and society.
The global supply chain, for example, has been hit hard over the past 15 months, creating supply shortages and imbalanced demand. Combine this supply-chain dysfunction with geopolitical tensions, and the result is an explosive cocktail that threatens the stability of the trade system and society at large.
Experts at the recent say that cybersecurity pros will be on the frontlines of navigating supply-chain instability in the years to come.
As the international stage and global economy becomes more interconnected via emerging technologies like Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, drones and video cameras, enterprises need to minimize risk and develop strategies for supply-chain resilience.
Supply Chain Becomes Flashpoint for Geopolitical Conflict
“The cybercommunity will be front and center in determining how resilient our supply chains will be going forward,” said Andrea Little Limbago, vice president of research and analysis at AI SaaS company Interos. She noted that supply chain disruption and instability have created new battlegrounds for geopolitical conflict.
“We’re already seeing the chip shortages,” Limbago said. “We’re seeing battles over artificial intelligence and a whole range of cyber-risks. That future world order is already here. We need to be preparing our supply chains to be resilient against these major transformations driven by shifting geopolitics in emerging technology.”
According to one retail company, freight will be the most significant challenge in the coming months, with ocean rates more than doubling and air freight up by nearly 200%.
Digital Authoritarians and Democracies
China and Russia lead the way in digital authoritarianism – where governments used digital information technologies for information control within their borders through blackouts, surveillance and other tactics.
These authoritarian governments are well-known for participation in the weaponization of cybersecurity breaches. But what is relatively new, Limbago said, is the weaponization of trade so that these governments can push their own objectives.
As a result, industry in the U.S. has moved manufacturing out of regions that are likely to weaponize trade – such as China. According to Limbago’s data, one-quarter of companies have considered relocating operations, and 75% have enhanced the scope of existing reshoring plans.
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