Every industry is facing disruption from both internal and external forces. Challenges like safety recalls, rising manufacturing costs, product failures, launch delays, and operational impacts are pushing industry leaders to rewrite the rules in order to seize the competitive edge of digital transformation (DX) across the enterprise. Digital manufacturing is driving the factory of the future, so modernizing your application infrastructure has never been more important. The time to complete your digital transformation and become the product leader in your industry is now.
CIOs understand that digital transformation is necessary. As Forbes notes, "the CIO is the only function that has the necessary capabilities for digital transformation, including breadth of vision that sees the entire organization and all its workings, and depth of resources and ability to drive transformation projects and apply technology across silos, functions, and divisions."
Multinational home appliance manufacturer Whirlpool understood that, in order to achieve their vision of creating an improved home experience for consumers, they had to unify the entire enterprise and optimize product development processes in order to create truly global designs which have delighted and exceeded customer expectations.
Driving DX across all plants enables quality improvements, solidifies compliance, and ensures concurrent engineering within the factory. Connecting and making data available in the product lifecycle – a structured way – will enable innovation as well as grow market share.
When considering how to put your digital house in order and implement digital thread to connect your people, products, and processes, here are five trends we are seeing – regardless of industry or geography – which are likely impacting your digital transformation decisions right now.
When it comes to DX, recognize that everything is IT, with technology enabling transformation. With technologies such as 5G and IoT connected factories, having a modern, scalable, upgradable, and secure systems landscape, that also enables agile product development, is critical.
Global economic conditions, along with ever-changing political policies and tariffs, can make it challenging to maintain profitability during low growth periods. Highly variable factory demands and dynamic supply chain costs increase risks as well as create quality issues.
Constantly evolving regulations, legal battles, and warranty issues create unexpected costs and impact product quality. Ensuring that data management complies with proper policies may have you scratching your head, asking, “Do we even have established processes for data retention?” Throw in the need to ensure whether products meet regulations (and can be sold), and you will be searching for a system solution that can streamline your regulatory reporting. Changing requirements will likely impact your ability to innovate while maintaining reliability.
Technology enables innovation and new business models, so customers expect smart, connected solutions where product-as-a-service is required. When software and hardware compatibility becomes an issue, merging those hardware and software development cycles can create struggles in aligning the two disciplines.
Customers expect tailored solutions, which only adds to increasing product complexity. Since you are striving to deliver innovative solutions, you are also likely feeling the cost pressures while protecting your brand reputation. These customer expectations are driving shorter product life cycles, which impact quality and time to market.
What is your vision for digital transformation? What challenges are you facing? Do you have a plan for facing those challenges?
Break down the data barriers across the product lifecycle with an open and flexible approach, evolving your IT infrastructure. Key strategies for value attainment - digital thread, digital twin, and digital deployment - can certainly be pursued independently, but together you will be able to adapt your information systems and achieve an agile transformation.
To learn how other companies have leveraged the digital thread and are driving innovation across the enterprise, visit our digital innovation page.