According to industrial expert Don Rogers, Head of the Manufacturing Industry Practise at World Wide Technology, 2018 will see manufacturers implementing digitalisation strategies that have, in some cases, been years in the making.
According to the IDC Worldwide DX 2018 Predictions report, 59% of companies are at a ‘digital impasse’ in their transformation plans, but by the end of 2019, transformation spending will reach $1.7 trillion worldwide. This is a 42% increase compared with this year.
For early adopters, best practise for making digital transformation a success in industrial environments has focussed around testing a holistic technology set, according to WWT. A complete solution includes data analytics, automated decision-making, and cyber security from the outset.
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Rogers said: “Manufacturers have on the whole taken a very analytical approach towards digital transformation, developing comprehensive strategies which set them in good stead for making a return on investment.
“When it comes to putting these into action, decision makers in the industry have no shortage of companies telling them what to do or offering different technology solutions. Assimilating all of these technologies into an effective system is challenging.
“A tactic that is being successfully adopted in the industry is to take a verification-based approach to reduce risk. Automated-decision making – based on data collection, data analytics and application of machine learning principles – is run in a test environment alongside real operations, either validating the technology or highlighting issues that need to be ironed out.
“Security, which has caught some businesses unawares when they start connecting plants and machines to the internet, is an essential part of this first validation. It has not always been a priority but we will see industrial cyber security become a part of implementation from the outset in 2018 and beyond.”