The large-scale disruptions that have beset global supply chains since mid-2020 have been challenging for nearly everyone, but the industry response carries one silver lining: The chaos has nudged, maybe even pushed, more companies into modernizing their supply chain management (SCM) software applications.
Though newer Cloud-based SCM software isn’t a quick fix, ongoing disruption likely has convinced some decision makers that it is time to invest in newer solutions, as evidenced by the high growth year for SCM software in 2021.
According to market research by Gartner Inc., which is the basis for this list of the Top 10 SCM software suppliers, the Top 10 SCM software providers racked up nearly $10.3 billion in software revenue through 2021, up from $9.06 billion in 2020 for the same set of vendors, a gain of close to 14%.
The annual growth rate of the Top 10 SCM software suppliers is slightly higher than that of the overall SCM software market, which grew at 12.5% over the previous year in 2021. That’s up from high single-digit growth in recent years for the overall SCM market with even faster growth in procurement (16%) and SCE (13%) software.
“It’s good to see this level of investment coming back into supply chain management software,” says Balaji Abbabatulla, Gartner UK’s senior director of product management research for SCM software. “It’s also good to see enterprise leaders opening up their minds to working with modern software applications, though in some cases, they are potentially being forced to do so because traditional legacy applications just were not designed for, or prepared to handle, the type and level of disruption that has been thrown at us the last couple of years.”
Multiple drivers are responsible for this uptick, explains Abbabatulla, including the shift to Cloud-based solutions, and newer data-driven application functions with embedded artificial intelligence (AI) that are better able to cope with rapidly shifting demand and supply conditions. With many companies struggling to cope with massive problems, more leaders are likely convinced it’s time to do things differently with better software.
“I think the level of disruption has helped change the mindset of many supply chain leaders in terms of them realizing that some of the existing software they have is just not fit for the purpose any longer,” says Abbabatulla. “These investments that happened in 2021 are long term in nature and won’t immediately solve the big issues around global disruption, but over time, modern applications will have a positive impact, and there are some point solutions that should help resolve certain issues in the short term.”
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