Information Technology

Transforming Industrials: Unleashing The Power of Data With Connected Workspaces

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<p>Digital transformation is one of the most overused terms in business.</p><p>Organizations that are &lsquo;digital leaders&rsquo; are driving transformations by <em>becoming</em> digital &ndash; not merely <em>doing</em> digital by implementing digital technologies. These companies are creating a sense of urgency, enabling a 360<sup>o</sup> customer experience, becoming efficient and operationally resilient and, thereby, delivering sustainable business results. Stakeholder value from successful business transformations come from a balance of growth and cost-optimization initiatives, and when <em>aligned</em> with core organizational strategy and purpose.</p><p>Industry 4.0 has accelerated digital transformation combining physical and digital technologies &ndash; cloud computing, sensors, internet of things (IoT), mobility &amp; augmented reality, big data, AI &amp; analytics, robotics, additive manufacturing, etc. The promise of Industry 4.0 is to drive (inter)connected enterprise(s) that are more flexible, responsive, and enable intelligent operations and actions derived from data-driven insights. Large economic potential is linked to&nbsp;digital transformation &ndash; and much of it is yet to be&nbsp;captured &ndash; even in North America and Europe.</p><p>Why are Industrials laggards?</p><p>While digital transformation started in the early years of last decade (2010+), the industrial sectors (i.e., Oil &amp; Gas, Energy &amp; Utilities, Manufacturing, and Mining &amp; Metals) are among the <em>laggards</em>.</p><p>Industrial digital transformations have profound implications to an enterprise affecting strategy, business and operating models, and talent &amp; organizational structure. However, manufacturing and operations stakeholders have not necessarily been the <u>key</u> decision-makers. But that is changing! Industrials that have realized significant return on investment (ROI) from their digital transformation initiatives are likely driven by productivity, safety &amp; compliance, and operational objectives rather than mere &ldquo;desire for innovation.&rdquo;</p><p>Covid-19 has also accelerated digital transformation in the industrial sectors, especially, around the front-line workers in manufacturing, operations, and service functions. However, the Industrials Sector is very <em>diverse</em> &ndash; Automotive, Aerospace &amp; Defense, Electrical &amp; Electronic Components, Industrial Machinery, Industrial Services, etc.</p><p>For the industrial sectors, these digital transformation opportunities differ for capital-intensive vs. labor-intensive industries:</p><ul><li>Capital-intensive industries with the potential to further transform the physical asset management lifecycle.</li><li>Labor-intensive industries to upskill industrial workers to improve productivity and safety, and enable operations leveraging digital tools.</li></ul><p>There are many questions that need to be explored, understood, and acted on, such as:</p><ul><li>Why have many Industry 4.0 initiatives <em>stalled</em>, and in the proverbial &ldquo;proof-of-concept purgatory&rdquo;?</li><li>How can business leaders attain the projected return on investments (ROI) and produce sustainable improvements within Industrials?</li><li>How can Industrials leverage <em>connected workspaces</em> enabled by the Cloud? How can we leverage on-premises, private cloud, public cloud, hybrid cloud, and multi-cloud solutions?</li><li>How can we extend information technologies from back office or Operations Management Offices to the front-line workers using mobile technologies and augmented reality securely?</li><li>How can we capture data and unleash the power of data (big data) leveraging emerging technologies, such as analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning?</li><li>What business models can drive operational capabilities within Industrials and, thereby, deliver the promise of innovation and digital transformation?</li><li>Does digital industrial transformation materially vary based on the Industry sub-segment?</li></ul><p>What do you think?</p><p><em>About the Author</em></p><p>Based in the New York metropolitan area, John Gonsalves is an industry thought leader specializing in business innovation and digital transformation. As a senior business leader, he served Global 2000 clients while at Cognizant, HARMAN, Capgemini, EMC, and ADVENTIS. His 25+ years&rsquo; industry experience spans heritage IT services, product &amp; platform engineering, and digital services as applied to manufacturing &amp; industrials, products &amp; resources, healthcare &amp; life sciences, and financial services sectors.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
KR Expert - John Gonsalves