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Increase in Demand of End-To-End Control Towers, 2021 Global Supply Chain Technology Trends

Control towers are designed as war-room like environments that focus heavily on visualization and dashboards, leveraging analytics driven decision support tools. Most enterprises have islands of domain-specific control tower capabilities, such as planning, logistics, transportation, or customer fulfilment. These however are not connected to create and End-to-End view.

As of today, there are two options organisations can take:
1) The Platform approach which involves having embedded control tower capabilities as part of a supply chain management platform that organisations have subscribed to, supporting supply chain planning or supply chain execution, or even broader Supply Chain Management suites that combine both planning and execution. This implementation has mainly been about domain-specific towers allowing visibility and control of a single functional area.

2) The Data Lake approach involves creating a data lake and applying business intelligence on top. With such solutions predominately serving visualisation needs, enabling stakeholders to have conversations with the data. Mostly centred on analytical use cases on top of a data lake that allow deep functional insights.

Future End-to-End control towers will span functional silos and represent a horizontal layer that is well integrated on top of other core SCM application and data analysis functions.

It is important to note that supply chain organizations are designed and measured along functional domains and respective roles. Implementing a significant End-to-End Control Tower transformation would require a drastic shift in mindset.

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