Business as usual is no longer an option. Your business must become data-centric built around an intelligent information platform. Successful enterprises will be driven by automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and APIs. I call this the 3A’s and we’re showcasing the benefits these technologies can bring to manufacturing at OpenTextTM Enterprise World 2018.
Every time I look at another analyst report the number of devices connected to the Internet has skyrocketed. I think we’re currently at 1 billion, trillion, zillion by 2025 or something in that order. Enough that Elon Musk wouldn’t need a spacecraft. He’d just stack them up and climb his way to Mars! Joking aside, we do have a very clear direction of travel. The world is going digital. Consumers are going digital. Your business better be going digital – because your competitors certainly are!
The challenge is the pace of change. As more and more disruptive technologies appear – IoT, 3D printing, virtual/augmented reality – the more disruption occurs that can spell extreme trouble for those companies not flexible and agile enough to turn digital transformation from a threat to an opportunity. According to the World Economic Forum the value to society and industry from digital transformation will be over $100 trillion during the next 10 years.
In his forthcoming book, Digital Manufacturing, OpenText’s CEO Mark Barrenechea says: “The mandate for all is to embark on a journey of digital transformation into the intelligent enterprise. The options are clear: to disrupt operations, processes, infrastructure and workforce – or risk becoming obsolete. In the digital world, it is disrupt or die”.
You can download your copy of Digital Manufacturing here.
Automation, AI & APIs. The 3 A’s of digital transformation
For me, the issue isn’t the amount of new disruptive technologies that companies are faced with. We have always had a technology maturity cycle and manufacturers have proved to be very resilient at choosing the technologies that work best for them, and implementing new solutions that drive their business. Robots, drones, wearables, 3D printers will all find their place within the operations of manufacturers.
The challenge – and the opportunity – is the massive amounts of information that all these technologies create. The fundamental element that characterizes digital transformation is the capacity to generate and collect information. At the same time, we’ve witnessed the growth in computing power, storage capacity and connectivity – all at lower costs. It’s a perfect storm. The information needed to make faster and better decision allied to access to technologies to make it happen.
There will be little argument when I say that information lies at the heart of today’s transformational change. Manufacturers need the ability to effectively manage and analyze that information at every stage of the manufacturing process.
To achieve this requires two elements: First is an intelligent enterprise information management platform that can consolidate information – internal and external, structured and unstructured – to enable the digitization of end-to-end workflows and entire business processes. Secondly, there are the 3 A’s: Automation technologies that increase business efficiencies and operational performance; APIs that allow for the fast creation and integration of smart apps that drive business agility and organizational flexibility; and Artificial Intelligence to turn information into actionable insight to speed and enhance decision making and innovation.
How the 3 A’s are driving Industry 4.0
When you combine the capabilities of the 3 A’s within a global enterprise information management platform, you begin to unleash the power of digital transformation in key areas of business for manufacturers, including:
As the amount of IoT devices within production facilities grows, manufacturers gain the ability to analyze and improve every part of operational performance. For example, the application of AI and advanced analytics is helping ensure predictive maintenance to monitor all in-service equipment and predict when maintenance is required, resulting in maximizing uptime. This offers massive savings, where equipment failure is the cause of unplanned downtime that’s estimated to cost $21 billion each year.
The concept of the smart factory is one where everything has been optimized for the production and distribution of goods. Through the highest levels of intelligence and connectivity the manufacturer is able to respond and adapt its operations as information changes. For example, automotive companies are in the process of moving from mass production to mass customization. This could only happen with a smart factory that can quickly change to meet rapidly changing consumer demand and product innovation.
Smart supply chains
The connected supply chain is one of the key transformation goals for most manufacturers. Indeed, full digital transformation can only occur when all nodes in your network are connected. Today, organizations are developing a digital ecosystem of trading partners designed not only for the efficient exchange of goods, but to embrace collaboration and joint innovation. It is the speed, accuracy and visibility of information flows across these extended global networks that determine supply chain success.
Manufacturing has often been seen as a laggard industry. Slow to adopt new technologies, taking a ‘wait and see’ attitude until a solution is ‘battle tested’. Well, times have truly changed and now manufacturers are taking up the disruptive technologies that can drive their business forward. The question becomes how best to ensure you are maximizing your investment in digital transformation.
That’s the question we’ll be focusing on at Enterprise World 2018.
There are more than 20 separate sessions specifically relevant for manufacturers taking place at Enterprise World 2018. There really is no other place where you can meet industry peers and OpenText technical solution and industry business experts. Register your place today.
Click here to download your copy of Digital Manufacturing.