Hunter Muller Predicts: Virus Outbreak Will Lead to Greater Resiliency in Global Supply Chains

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The death toll from the coronavirus continues to climb, serving as a clear reminder of our truly interconnected and rapidly evolving global economy. From an economic perspective, we have become one giant family. When a member of the family becomes ill, we all experience the consequences.

For technology executives and decision makers, the global economy will pose challenges that we have rarely encountered at scale since the end of the Cold War. I predict that we will find ourselves increasingly pulled into conversations about supply chain resiliency with the C-suite and corporate board.

My advice is to be prepared for these conversations. As technology leaders, we will be expected to offer guidance and vision. CIOs, CTOs, CDOs and CISOs are uniquely positioned to see across the entire 21st-century enterprise. From our vantage point, we know what’s going on at every level of the enterprise and in every market.

Our ability to see across the enterprise will become even more valuable and important as companies reallocate energy and resources into strengthening their global supply chains.

Make no mistake: Monitoring the health of the global economy will become a routine part of your job as a technology executive.

In a newsletter this morning, CNN Business noted how shares of some publicly traded companies have been negatively impacted by the virus outbreak. “For American companies with lots of exposure to China, the worst might not be over, Goldman Sachs warned in a recent note to clients. It called out Yum China (which makes all its sales in China), Wynn Resorts (75% of sales) and chipmaker Qorvo (74%) as firms who are under pressure,” writes Julia Horowitz of CNN Business.

Wynn Resorts, she noted, is already losing millions of dollars per day because its casinos in Macau are closed. “Royal Caribbean and Carnival have had to suspend cruises. Starbucks has closed more than half its stores in China. McDonald’s has shut hundreds of restaurants in Hubei province. And Delta, American and United have suspended flights for weeks to come,” Horowitz writes.

I predict that supply chain resiliency will become part of the daily conversation at your enterprise, and I urge you to prepare. As a technology executive, you are likely to play a key role in developing a practical strategy for strengthening and augmenting your company’s supply chain resiliency. From this point forward, it’s a part of every technology executive’s portfolio of responsibilities.

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