If you've been following the Game Changing Trends series of articles over at Supply Chain Management Review, you have probably noticed that there's been a strong current of technological advances in the supply chain over the past year. From almost every area of the supply chain, we're seeing technology further improve the way we work, the way we manage our information, and the way we interact with that information. 

One of the things that I really like about this trend is that hardware itself is becoming less important. See, there was a time not long ago at all really, that your software was directly tied to your hardware. Especially in the business and industrial areas. In some ways, it's still true. There's a great deal of devices that run very specific software. While I don't forsee that completely changing anytime in the near future, I'd be very surprised to find that in another decade, we won't have more and more of our hardware being separate from our software. Cloud computing, for all of its "cliche" buzz-speak, has really opened up what we can do with our hardware and software.

There's a lot of great examples of this in consumer electronics, such as the Chromebook, by Google, and the Android OS. The Chromebooks exist almost completely in the cloud. What you get with the device is a small enough harddrive to house what is essentially a beefed up version of the Chrome web-browser, a screen, a keyboard, and a heck of a battery. Android OS, exists as much more than a phone OS too, there's currently home computers running the software, as well as versions of it running in cars. 

Hopefully, we'll see more technologies like these move into the supply chain space. The ability to simply access the data we need without needing to be encumbered by a specific piece of physical technology. And, technological solutions that can adapt quickly and easily to our chosen hardware standards. When this becomes standard, I believe we'll see an explosion of technology in the supply chain.