supply chain Image credit - by Tumisu from PixabayCleo has published a new report that draws on a survey of supply chain business and technology executives conducted by Dimensional Research, Inc. Entitled “Achieving Business Agility Through Ecosystem Integration”. While the survey only included 108 qualified participants, of which 80% were in North America and 20% in Europe, it provided some interesting findings. At 20 pages, the report starts with a summary of the findings before delivering more detail around the results with some accompanying analysis.

The report has several takeaways, of which the final rounds up the analysis from the report. It says: “Executives are strongly encouraged to consider evaluating integration solutions in parallel to other technology investments. Often, technology investments fail due to the inability to connect and integrate with existing enterprise systems.”

Key findings from the report include

  • 71% of businesses have invested more than 100,000 in supply chain technology, but only 35% in integration technology
  • 93% will focus on improving their business agility in 2021
  • 50% increased revenues by $1M or more from improved agility

Business agility is certainly a key focus for 2022. The pandemic and disruption to the supply chain have left many companies reconsidering relationships. 90% of respondents said their partners failed to deliver reliable business services.

The report highlighted what caused the disruption with the top three concerns:

  • Global pandemic 68%
  • Supply Chain Disruption 43%
  • Cybersecurity Threats 43%

Geopolitical events ranked last, but it is not clear whether the survey was conducted before or after the war in Ukraine.

Moving towards agility

The authors then looked at moving a business forward. The research shows that integration technology is the top investment to create business agility (59%). Back office solutions, such as ERP, was second (53%). Those investing in technology have seen the benefits. 99% of executives reported increased revenue due to improved agility provided by technology investments.

The authors argue that organisations can connect previously siloed solutions to create a coherent and flexible technology architecture by investing in integration technology.

Tushar Patel. CMO, Cleo
Tushar Patel. CMO, Cleo

Tushar Patel, chief marketing officer with Cleo, commented: “The global pandemic and supply chain disruptions continued to plague business in 2021. Such challenges had a direct impact on key business relationships, but also created opportunity for companies to rethink their strategies and invest more astutely in supply chain integration technology.

“Our survey shows an agile supply chain starts with flexibility and control at the integration layer. By proactively ensuring that their integration strategies complement their other technology investments, companies win — both in terms of revenue generation and improved relationships with their ecosystem partners.”

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

This is another piece of research by Cleo that, in our opinion, delivers more of a clear marketing message than insights that business leaders can learn from. The survey provides some interesting data points, but there is little analysis and no qualitative element that brings any of the findings to life.

There was scope to provide useful insights into how the integration technology helped increase revenue. Was that the only element? What about the other contributing factors and technologies?

There is no doubt that supply chains are becoming an increasing focus for many organisations as they have proven fragile. Cleo and its integration cloud is one element that will help organisations strengthen relationships, internally and externally. There are other solutions.


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