July 19, 2017
By Debbie Krupitzer, NA Practice Lead for Digital Manufacturing and Industrial IoT at Capgemini.
During the recent Inforum, I had the pleasure of joining Infor manufacturing leadership and discussing the future trends around digital manufacturing and what we are seeing around the world. This is a critical topic for manufacturers, involving high impact issues. For those unable to attend the presentation, here is a synopsis of the main points, with some additional links at the bottom.
Manufacturing is evolving and Industry 4.0 is well underway. The rapid growth of Artificial Intelligence and web-enabled technologies in the manufacturing space has created an opportunity for serious improvement in plant efficiency and capacity. Costs, production times, and waste are decreasing drastically, while capacity and additional revenue opportunities are being rediscovered. All of these improvements are byproducts of the data that is created by these technologies. This actionable data is foundational to creating insights that provide value for stakeholders.
In order to take advantage of these emerging technologies and capitalize on the new wave of industry, companies need to be digitally mature enough to handle the required transformation. This means building skills in your organization around data analytics, cyber security, and automation – the foundation of this new industry.
Likewise, robust governance is critical to managing this transformation, which at the very least requires appointing a leader and building a roadmap. A poorly governed transformation can lead to ad hoc implementations of disjointed technologies and data points lacking context or relevance. The resulting confusion can ultimately have adverse effects to the transformation.
This new industry has created delineation between digital masters and digital beginners. Digital masters are companies that use technology as a transformation vehicle for their businesses, while digital beginners are currently only using these technologies as accessories to their current business processes. Currently, only about 30% of Digital beginners consider themselves skilled in these technology areas and a similar amount utilize basic governance methods to manage their transformations.
In contrast, an average of around 80% of digital masters consider themselves skilled in the required technical areas and over 90% use robust governance practices in their transformations. This foundation allows these masters to not only digitize the majority of their processes, but effectively implement key technologies and analytical techniques in their operations. It is this combination of skills, management, and technology that enables them to successfully ride this technology wave forward.
This dichotomy has created the previously mentioned gap between the masters and beginners, a gap that will only increase if left unchecked. These digital beginners need to close this gap in order for them to continue to be competitive in this evolving market. While this starts with upskilling the workforce in digital skills, it ultimately requires creating a digital-centric culture through the whole organization. The age of the connected factory is here, and the benefits of the new age are evident. Is your company ready to take advantage of them?
We hope those attending enjoyed Inforum as much as we at Capgemini did. If you were unable to attend, our hope is this brief summary of the state of digital transformation will inspire further research and action. Timing is critical. Manufacturers need to join the evolution or risk being left behind and irrelevant.
If you want to learn more about what it means to become a digital master, we recommend reading Leading Digital: Turning Technology into Business Transformation by Capgemini Consulting’s Didier Bonnet and MIT’s George Westerman and Andrew McAfee.
About the author
Debbie Krupitzer is the NA Practice Lead for Digital Manufacturing and Industrial IoT at Capgemini. Debbie has a strong understanding of how technology supports innovation in business and is able to balance the needs of executive and business sponsors with a practical and fast moving approach to building out successful new initiatives while managing risks. She is well versed in global programs and has managed multidisciplinary international teams to define marketing strategies and business cases, redesign hardware, build software, and develop integrations into core systems in support of new product and service launches.