In the subject of digital transformation, technology is more often than not listed among the top factors. And with the industrial revolution advancing at a faster rate, digital transformation also has to occur at an increased pace, especially in the manufacturing sector. Unfortunately for the slow-to-move organizations, they have to keep up with the ever-increasing speed to attain a competitive advantage in the current market.
If you are ready for your journey into a digital business transformation, you should pay close attention to the underlying factors that cause disruptions in the modern market. This includes the rise in data volumes, computational power, as well as connectivity. Additionally, it can be quite imprudent to ignore the impact of business intelligence and big data analytics.
In this post, we will focus on major technologies and their impacts on the transitioning world.
#1. Big Data Analytics
Big data is absolutely the main latest technology integral to the occurrence of the fourth industrial revolution. And since data is a major driver in digital manufacturing, it has led to the creation of automated ecosystems that can function with minimal to no supervision. Data impression stresses across the entire supply chain and lifecycle of a product as far as the 21st century is concerned.
The significance of data becomes more relevant as more states continue to enact laws limiting companies’ data collection and sharing. However, data analysis and connection have made it possible for businesses to transform and adapt to the ever-changing requirements of their industry.
With the enhancement in AI technology, enterprises have a rather seamless way to sort data picking the most useful insights to offer customer-centered services.
According to Douglas Laney, a distinguished analyst in Data Analytics and Strategy, there will come a time when almost every company will require detailed plans that mention data as a critical business asset and its analytics as a crucial competency.
As further support to these claims, it proves to be easier for businesses to make effective solutions if they use accurately analyzed data. Thus, a digital transformation office is a must-have requirement for modern businesses. All the same, companies are observing big data for short term insights as well.
As a result, they now opt for platforms that can continue offering accurate information even on increasing sets of data.
#2. Autonomous Robotics
In a few years to come, it is expected for the global industrial market to attain a worth of up to $73.5 billion. As such, most companies have been seen to adopt autonomous robots to help with their logistics and fulfillment. Connecting such robots to logic controllers or databases enables users to coordinate the actions of the robots to a much greater extent.
This connection, in turn, makes it a vital organ of your team. In point, MiR (Mobile Industrial Robots), a Danish-based company that majors in mobile and autonomous robots, has recently partnered with Kamstrup to help upgrade their intralogistics system. The result was four sensor-fitted MiR robots featuring conveyor top modules, which were programmed to transport finished and semi-finished products around Kamstrup’s production facility.
The robots were further integrated into the company’s ERP system to achieve a higher level of coordination. This enabled the company’s human labor force to concentrate on the actual product assembly and production while the robots attended to the minutiae tasks. After adoption, it resulted in a double production rate for the company while maintaining its 72-hour delivery time policy.
#3. Social Media
Although Facebook has existed for the last decade or so, the social media platform has undergone major changes worth noting. While Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter all came after 2010, Facebook, which has been there ever since, now records billions of avid users who utilize the platform to share their photos, thoughts, and more – something necessary for effective digital transformation.
Back in time, it would be quite unreal to think or even explain to companies the importance of having an official Facebook or Twitter account. Social media technology paved the way for corporations and conglomerates to interact and hear back from their customers. However, even with the backlash against the impacts of social media sites, there has still never been a significant drop in user numbers.
In the current times, cloud computing has proved to be an inseparable segment in the industrial revolution version 4.0.. And since digital transformation demands that more data is shared across sites and often across different locations, the cloud becomes an integral technology to enable real-time connectivity across multiple systems.
By leveraging the opportunities offered by cloud technology, such as including additional features and functionalities, you will be able to improve your company’s production systems.
For instance, Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services, a cloud-based machine learning solution, enables manufacturers to streamline communication across all platforms in an enterprise’s ecosystem. Thus, data from all systems, equipment, robots, and sensors can be collected and shared across different branches of your system to improve immaterial intralogistics, provisioning, and maintenance.
Being a powerful collaborative tool, the cloud is able to transform the typical data management culture in industrial companies. It is easily achieved by breaking existing silos between different departments and systems. In addition, cloud storage offers consistent access to information. Moreover, its elastic nature enables it to accommodate larger data volumes without causing any underperformance.
#5. Internet of Things
Industries in both manufacturing and retail digital transformation sectors deploy miniature sensors, thus allowing for improved data collection and development of organized systems. Key players in many supply chains across the world have their factories, warehouses, and even trucks fitted with IoT devices, among many other smart tools.
In addition to collecting information on the status of the supply chain, these smart tools are able to deliver insights into how businesses can optimize their service or streamline them.
As more workplaces are outfitted with this kind of tech, they become even much safer for the employees. Moreover, they are able to highlight all bottlenecks, thus averting instances that could cost the company a fortune. Utilized properly, the Internet of Things can form a basis for research on weak spots and thus limit interruptions before they crop up.
Thus, by incorporating such tools and technology, you are assured of finding more ways to optimize your services. However, it is advisable to work with a very reliable digital transformation agency for all that to take place.
Finally, powering your ecosystem’s elements with sensors can enable you to unlock major benefits as listed below:
- Greater connectivity, thus leading to data-driven decision-making, problem-solving, and improved measurement and management of performance.
- Speed and agility by automating most labor-sensitive tasks and establishing instances that slow down your production.
- With public sector digital transformation, you gain a greater form of accessibility, thus giving your employees instant access to necessary information at all times.
With the wide applicability of blockchain to almost all businesses, it serves as no shock to see how blockchain has invaded almost every industry in need of an organized supply chain. After its 2008 debut partly due to the cryptocurrency efforts, ledger technology saw quick adoption in the financial industry and quickly spun off into its field.
Subsequently, financial institutions, including banks, have, for half a decade, used it for most of their tasks. This has led to the implication of loan application processes and even smart contracts. Recent digital transformation examples include the banks in Canada that use blockchains to grant more power to the people over the collected data.
In recent years, numerous industries have also followed suit and even started researching the effectiveness of blockchain. In turn, it has heavily impacted supply chains. Other digital transformation companies include huge retailers such as Walmart and McDonald’s, a fast-food company that uses blockchain to source food and materials.
#7. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
For clarity, this post examines AI (Artificial Intelligence) as an umbrella term for ML (Machine Learning) and Deep Learning. It is rightful to say that these two technologies have further extended digitalization to a broader spectrum, thus acting as a key digital transformation strategy. By enabling enhanced data analytics and powering IoT devices, they enable companies to attain new insights, thus gaining better visibility into their processes.
Similarly, Machine Learning allows for automation at a greater scale. As a result, companies are able to deploy computer vision to enable the production of miniature devices. Moreover, AI-powered cameras with high resolutions are able to pick up more detail, defects included, not visible to the naked eye.
By connecting such a system to a cloud-based framework, the defects can be reported instantly, therefore, coordinating a quicker response. And with the latest advancements in deep learning, particularly artificial neural networks, machines are able to deal with complex image recognition tasks.
Generative design is also another prominent use of AI in powering digital transformation. Such solutions, driven by AI and cloud computing, enable the generation of numerous design options in just a few clicks. This is done by inputting basic parameters such as strength, height, and material options.
Our Take on Digital Transformation
Although the list is endless, the seven examples above are the most common in a digital transformation case study. And that rings a bell; to leverage the most from digital transformation technology, consider implementing several of these technologies at once instead of one. Fusing them can have greater impacts, and of course, greater success.
Also, for a successful implementation, it is advisable to seek the services of digital transformation consultants.
Who wouldn’t appreciate an enterprise digital transformation for increased efficiencies?
About the Author!
Emily Moore is an English teacher with a passion for space and blogging. She became interested in Space after participating in the research of Max Polyakov, The Founder of EOS Data Analytics. She believes that ongoing research should focus on conserving our planet’s resources. With satellites in orbit, it is easier to obtain relevant data on any changes in the environment. This, in turn, should help people quickly resolve any problems.