From manufacturer to service provider and software supplier
The manufacturing industry is in a state of upheaval: as a result of digitalization, more and more companies are moving from being pure producers to becoming service providers and software suppliers. They are willing to cross their borders, cooperate with competitors and become active parts of global ecosystems.2 Apr 2020 Markus Göbel, Microsoft
Microsoft has therefore asked digitization experts from the industry what new manufacturing trends they expect to see in the coming months.
In 2020, data will be even more important: it is a raw material that is available in huge quantities, is growing explosively and is produced by the companies themselves. It has been shown that data-based insights into business processes and the decisions derived from them bring clear competitive advantages.
All about data: More efficiency and higher revenues
Companies with a data-centric culture can quadruple their sales and achieve higher customer satisfaction, according to an analysis by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services . They can also use data to increase the efficiency of their entire production and supply chains: with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), through networked machines and plants, cleverly placed sensors and intelligent analytics in the cloud.
Automation 2.0: Seamless linking of production processes
Artificial intelligence (AI) and self-learning systems will provide a significant boost in the use of data, according to expert interviews with Microsoft. The technical requirements are already available and ready for use. “Automation 2.0" is about extending the automation of sub-processes to the entire process chain and linking individual processes with each other. With consistently digitized and automated process chains, companies can create great potential for completely new business models and customer-centric business cases.
Networked production: No intelligent production without (hybrid) cloud
None of this will work without networking the production's Operational Technology (OT) with cloud-based IT. In the foreseeable future, hybrid scenarios will dominate, say the experts: the globally scaling public cloud will be combined with the on-premises architectures still needed in production. These sometimes highly complex connections create precisely the productive and secure environment that companies need for their networked production. Microsoft supports these scenarios with hybrid cloud offerings like Azure Stack .
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