DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION: WHAT IT IS AND HOW TO GET STARTED
NOVEMBER 15, 2017 - EDZEL LAPIRA, CEO
The industrial segment has seen a proliferation of interconnected and complementary technologies recently, including the Internet of Things (IoT), Smart Factory, Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet. This has inspired companies to undergo major digital transformations to reap benefits such as increased productivity and reduced downtime.
The hype surrounding those technologies have also made them more desirable. However, many end-users are still confused about how they can initiate their own digital transformation programs.
Predictronics knows what happens next. We believe the industrial segment should, too. That is why we work to demystify industrial big data and give companies the ability to adopt new technologies.
How to Invest in Digital Transformation?
Companies starting out their own digital transformation programs often lack vision and objective. With IoT and Smart Factory technologies becoming increasingly more popular, it is easy to jump on the bandwagon without much consideration. Yet, to fully reap the aforementioned benefits, companies must think long-term.
In addition to restructuring and reorganizing to include positions that attend to specific digital transformation needs, industry leaders need to perform internal assessments and evaluate process and performance to determine which areas of their companies need improvement.
Industry leaders must ultimately think about the future. They need to decide if the introduction of predictive maintenance technologies is meant to avoid downtime, minimize scrap and improve yield rate, or optimize operations through the implementation of advanced feedback control systems. Moreover, the company vision should be supported by strategies that are accessible to middle-management and factory-line workers.
An Ecosystem of Players
As of now, not one single supplier can provide all the components of digital transformation. However, there is a vibrant and ever-growing ecosystem of players to aid in that process. Traditional sensor, automation, data storage, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and computing companies now advertise their offerings as critical components to digital transformation. Startups are also on the rise, including ones that specialize in AI (Artificial Intelligence).
These companies, each in their own way, offer the three components of digital transformation: Platform, analytics and visualization. The platform is the overarching technology that centralizes other technologies and applications that transform data into insights. Under the hood, applications need robust and reliable analytic models built using advanced tools (statistics, artificial intelligence and machine learning) and appropriate domain or tribal knowledge. Finally, the visualization component delivers the insights and ensures it reaches the intended recipients, so that they can make educated decisions about their industrial process.
Predictronics stands out in this ecosystem of players by offering a software solution that incorporates all three of these digital transformation components. PDX, Predictronics’ end-to-end predictive analytics solution, monitors critical assets by collecting and analyzing big data with the ultimate goal of reducing unplanned downtime, increasing productivity and improving product quality. It is also capable of working with other platforms and offers visualization tools that make data accessible and understandable.
Starting the Digital Transformation Journey
Different companies are at different stages of the digital transformation process. Progressive companies that have, to various degrees, installed one or a combination of fundamental technologies are front-runners in implementing digital transformation strategies and will be the first to reap the benefits.
For others, this endeavor will be both a huge investment and a steep learning curve, with many challenges along the way. That does not mean they should abandon the digital transformation journey altogether. Rather, they should start with a manageable and practical strategy that will work within the company’s resources and bandwidth. As our Chief Technology Officer David Siegel wrote in a previous blog post, “start small, fail small, but start now."
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