This paper indicates that the use of modern technologies in supply chain can result in preparedness against various risks. However, ICT supply chains are promote to cyber risks that can disorient the business model of the affected company. The discussion encourages companies to form Supply Chain Risk Councils (SCRCs) that can implement the most appropriate cybersecurity systems and backups. Such measures will mitigate supply chain risks and drive business performance.
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Introduction: Overview the Forum
Multinational corporations rely on supply chain processes in order to deliver their products to the final consumer (McDaniel 319). Throughout the supply chain, a wide range of activities and processes are executed before the targeted product is delivered. Companies should identify the right raw materials and implement powerful logistical operations. The raw materials are then used to manufacture the intended products and eventually deliver them to the customer.
The presented forum indicates clearly that disruptions and risks will always occur at some point. Such unforeseeable events will affect the performance of the firm. The author of the presentation argues that most of the recent events such as pandemics, natural disasters, and terrorist attacks have disrupted business operations. Consequently, more customers have been unable to get the targeted products. These issues have led to the establishment of the supply chain risk management (SCRM) field. The ultimate goal of SCRM is “to manage supply chain risks and disruptions through the use of coordinated approaches to reduce supply chain vulnerability” (Rinaldi and Bandinelli 12).
In order to deal with such risks, supply chain transformation and data management is a key area that is currently embraced by many supply chain managers (SCMs). This presentation has revealed numerous supply chain developments that have surfaced in the recent past. The issues and challenges affecting supply chains have informed the study presented below.
Introduction of the Major Questions, Issues, and Problems
Although the presented portfolio argues that modern technologies are being used to mitigate risks, it does not outline how ICT can be tapped in an attempt to streamline the supply chain process. The discussion has also failed to address the challenges that might arise from cyber-attacks and evidence-based strategies that can be used to deal with different threats (McDaniel 321). It is agreeable that information and communication technologies (ICT) have been embraced by supply chain managers to monitor the logistical processes supporting a company’s business model. With effective use and implementation of ICT, SCMs can enhance communication and ensure disruptions are identified before they affect the entire process. Recovery measures can be supported using ICT in order to streamline the supply chain process.
Another issue informed by the presented portfolio is that of cyber security (or insecurity). The current use of ICT has led to sophistication. The increasing number of information systems within the supply chain framework has led to numerous security threats. Cyber-attacks have been observed to affect or disrupt many supply chains. It is also notable that the number of stakeholders involved throughout the supply chain process is on the rise. Mensah et al. believe that “disasters, hacking, and disruptions can occur at any given time” (67). Technology is also invisible because of the complexity associated with various computer systems (Rinaldi and Bandinelli 39). This gap has also led to new strategies that can be used to tackle the problem of cyber attack. This is the reason why future SCMs will be required to analyze, monitor, and mitigate the risks affecting their supply chains.
Rinaldi and Bandinelli believe strongly that supply chains are useful in every business process (27). They are characterized by flow of information, money, products, and services. The exchange of products and money between customers and corporations is also evident in every supply chain network. The role of such networks explains why risks must be managed and prevented. This is the case because such occurrences can have detrimental impacts on the responsiveness, continuity, and effectiveness of different supply chains. Within the past decade, ICT systems have been “embraced because they are capable of managing risks and promoting resilience” (Rinaldi and Bandinelli 39).
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The use of such web-based services makes it easier for different actors in the supply chain to exchange information, data, and ideas. Suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, and distributors have all benefited from the use of ICT.
Unfortunately, the promise of ICT has been characterized by a number of challenges. Boyens et al. argue that most of the ICT systems have been prone to attacks and disruptions (47). This gap has encouraged many companies to support their research and development (R&D) departments in an attempt to come up with new systems that can support the supply chain process (Mensah et al. 68). The use of advanced technological systems is something that has made it easier for more companies to manage their supply chains effectively.
The use of integrated computer systems has led to increased visibility and prevention of some of the major risks affecting supply chain processes. For instance, delayed deliveries, poor communication, and natural disasters can be monitored and addressed in a timely manner (Boyens et al. 48). Many firms have benefited significantly from the concept of information sharing and management. These measures have led to reduced operational and administrative costs.
Urciuoli believes strongly that this “new development in the use of modern ICT systems has exacerbated cyber risks to supply chains” (9). For instance the Internet of Things (IoTs) is a concept that has been used to support this new development. This is the case because many processes have become interconnected and smart. Many firms have come up with IT-guided Supply Chain Management (SCM). This is a process whereby supply and product data is monitored and tracked using business software or applications (McDaniel 323). This has become a major problem because there are numerous weak links on the internet.
Analysis and Discussion
The completed study has indicated clearly that modern SCMs are benefiting significantly from the use of ICT technologies. Apps have become relevant in every sector of the economy. Many supply chain managers have found it easier to monitor and mitigate risks before they disorient the supply chain. However, very few measures have been undertaken in order to ensure more corporations are prepared against the risks emerging from supply chain cyber attacks (Urciuoli 7). Companies that are targeted by such attacks can find it hard to realize their business objectives.
Several outcomes are possible when a firm’s supply chain is affected by cyber risks. To begin with, the company will be forced to deliver compromised or inappropriate products to the consumer. This situation will definitely affect the company’s brand name or reputation. More often than not, hackers target confidential data in order to affect the image of a company. The stakeholders can also lose their resources or monies due to cyber attacks (Urciuoli 9). Finished products or raw materials can be channeled elsewhere. These risks are therefore capable of affecting shareholder value and revenues.
Rinaldi and Bandinelli indicate that companies can embrace “the power of cyber-resilient supply chains” (52). This kind of model can be realized by combining modern technologies in order to increase the level of security. The use of multiple information interfaces can ensure the targeted supply chain process has a backup (Boyens et al. 67). The use of web pull and push services can be embraced by supply chain managers in order to deal with the problem of data redundancy (Mensah et al. 68). By so doing, the affected companies will find it easier to response to every disruption in a timely manner. It is also appropriate for firms to solve every data confidentiality concern or issue. This means that specific information or data can be stored in repositories in order to maximize security.
The cybersecurity concept is a powerful approach that can be embraced in order to manage cyber-integrated supply chains. Powerful cybersecurity measures can make it easier for companies to expose various malpractices such as forgery, fraud, or hacking (Mensah et al. 69). It would be appropriate for companies to hire IT specialists who can implement cyber-resilience measures. Business integrity rules or regulations should also be exploited by every company. This approach will ensure the participants in the supply chain act diligently in order to support the goals of their respective companies.
Conclusions and Recommendations
The occurrence of risks and disruptions within the supply chain process affects the performance of a business organization. Such risks can result in numerous threats because the supply chain process brings together many stakeholders such as consumers, manufacturers, consultants, logistical operators, suppliers, and IT specialists (Boyens et al. 98). This challenge explains why risk mitigation has become a critical aspect in every Sustainable Supply Chain Management (SSCM) process. In an attempt to deal with the major risks that can affect the success of different supply chains, many managers have embraced the benefits associated with ICT.
Incidentally, ICT supply chains disruptions or risks have become a major concern than ever before. This is the case because certain problems such as disruptions, counterfeits, theft, and poor manufacturing have emerged in the recent past (Mensah et al. 68). That being the case, it would be appropriate for SCMs and corporations to identify new measures that can be implemented to safeguard the integrity of every logistical operation.
Urciuoli supports the use of Supply Chain Risk Councils (SCRCs) in order to deal with most of the risks affecting ICT supply chains (12). The role of SCRCs is to bring together experts and players in order to come up with a risk mitigation framework or model. Such councils will find the best cybersecurity measures that can be implemented to streamline the functioning of every supply chain process. The inclusion of different professionals can ensure security risks are combined with disruptions that can affect the business. This initiative can make it easier for companies to identify the major threats and risks that can affect their respective supply chain processes.
Validated or timely backup systems should be put in place in order to support the supply system in the event of a risk or disruption (Rinaldi and Bandinelli 102). These measures will mitigate different risks and ensure every ICT supply chain adds value to the targeted stakeholders.
Boyens, Jon, et al. “Supply Chain Risk Management Practices for Federal Information Systems and Organizations.” NIST, vol. 1, no. 1, 2015, pp. 1-282.
McDaniel, Elizabeth. “Securing the Information and Communications Technology Global Supply Chain from Exploitation: Developing a Strategy for Education, Training, and Awareness.” Issues in Information Science and Information Technology, vol. 10, no. 1, 2013, pp. 313-324.
Mensah, Peter, et al. “Developing a Resilient Supply Chain Strategy by Exploiting ICT.” Procedia Computer Science, vol. 77, no. 1, 2015, pp. 65-71.
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Rinaldi, Rinaldo, and Romeo Bandinelli. Business Models and ICT Technologies for the Fashion Supply Chain. Springer, 2016.
Urciuoli, Luca. “Cyber-Resilience: A Strategic Approach for Supply Chain Management.” Technology Innovation Management Review, vol. 1, no. 1, 2015, pp. 1-17.