According to the PwC report on Transportation & Logistics 2030, no supply chain will ever be 100 percent secure. While technology can help increase security, apparently it is not enough. No wonder, enhancing security levels is a major priority for governments and companies and the reliance on technology is continuously growing.
The global security market is growing fast. Between 2005 and 2009, the global value of security technology has more than doubled, reaching US$ 946 million in 2009. In the US, the Department of Homeland Security will administer a budget of US$ 42.3 billion in 2012 and some legislators have proposed raising it further. The US Transportation Security Administration received a budget increase of US$ 8.2 billion in 2011, mostly to fund a range of technology devices like explosive detection systems, portable explosives, trace detection devices and whole body scanners.
This broad implementation of security technology is not without criticisms. Some observers question the return on investment of technology and its real contribution to higher security levels. Technological improvements can’t prevent all supply chain disruptions or interruptions. For the concern, technology is the best solution and the way to move forward in supply chain security management. Some even prefer to replace personnel-intensive solutions with electronic monitoring devices, ‘hack-proof’ systems and other technologies allowing broader coverage. This group sees the human factor as being the weakest link in the chain historically and remaining so in the future. Their solution is to substitute technological equipment wherever possible.
The relaxed experts attribute a much lower probability to technology as the only reliable lever to guarantee security, PwC wrote. They see the future in a combination of technology, trained personnel and policies. This group argues that even the most state-of-the-art technology currently in place doesn’t prevent successful attacks on supply chains from happening. Technology alone can’t secure the supply chain. People are needed too, to provide human intelligence and good governance.