The evolution of industrial technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming the world of discrete manufacturing. Even leaders with decades worth of experience must figure out ways to keep up in an increasingly competitive market.
For discrete manufacturers, smart connected products offer a way to enhance product functionality and create additional value for customers. However, deploying and maintaining the infrastructure needed to support them internally requires a significant amount of time, resources, and cost.
Ready-built IoT solutions offer faster time to value, as well as a more holistic approach to digital transformation that combines IoT connectivity with rich contextualization and business systems orchestration. So what should discrete manufacturers be thinking about when building a digital transformation strategy around out-of-the-box IIoT solutions?
First, look at your products and the value they bring to customers. How can that value be improved by digitization? IoT connectivity can enhance equipment functionality with powerful new capabilities. Could your products benefit by optimizing their performance and efficiency? Would monitoring their usage data provide better accuracy for predictive maintenance? By understanding the value that smart, connected products will bring to your customers, you will have a clearer vision of the impact that digital transformation will have on your business.
IoT infrastructure is complex. Connecting and analyzing data from millions of devices and contextualizing it with other digital content requires a strong foundation. IoT software that can rapidly ingest data and provide real-time insights at scale is not enough. You need a solution that can also develop robust industrial IoT applications on the cloud, enabling centralized data sharing and bi-directional communication between devices. Security and scalability should be pillars of your industrial IoT foundation, so solutions that integrate with an established cloud offering have a distinct advantage.
Lastly, it’s important to find trusted and capable partners and leverage their proven abilities. There isn’t a singular IoT solution that can do it all. Industrial innovation requires strong partnerships with integrated solutions that work better together. Joint solutions that use complementary strategies to bridge operational technology with IT can provide faster time to value, as well as a wider range of use cases that result a more holistic approach to digital transformation.
With the right partner ecosystem, discrete manufacturers can enhance the value of their products with IoT connectivity and create a strong foundation to build upon for the future.