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Strategy

Wine is a Mocker (Jan Steen, 1663–64)

The Industrial Internet of Things: When the Party is Over

By | AR/VR, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Internet of Things, Manufacturing, Mergers & Acquisitions | No Comments

IoT Industry Snapshot and Predictions

The industrial Internet of Things community is finally beginning to sober up from the bacchanalia of counting connected IoT devices and terabytes of cloud data storage that has dominated the IoT narrative for too long.

IoT platform vendors and consultants are shifting their focus from the lower rung of the IoT technology stack that focuses on device connectivity to the other end of the stack, to technologies that provide meaningful business value: multidisciplinary data aggregation, complex data analytics and higher capacity for optimal decision-making.

Robust articulation of the business value of industrial IoT has been absent from much of the narrative, in the vein of “if you build it, they will come.” Many IoT platform vendors provide tools to draw snazzy dashboards, plot complex data graphs and display virtual gauges. But their data analytics tools are not as robust and trending and predictive capabilities are over optimistic. And the recent rush to add statistical analysis tools (often linear regression tools masqueraded as artificial intelligence and machine learning) will face real-world challenges of data biases, inconsistency and scale. Read More

Triple Self Portrait (Norman Rockwell, 1960)

Digital Twins: Is More Better?

By | Internet of Things, IT Strategy, PLM | No Comments

The Digital Twin

A digital twin is a live digital representation of a physical asset. It is a cyber-physical mockup that represents both the physical instance and its broad business context in which it operates, from inception to end of life.

The digital twin acts on behalf of connected physical objects by receiving alerts and notifications, sending instructions and updates, and providing real-time information on their state and health to the owners, operators, and maintainers of these assets.

The digital twin is an integral part of the assets’ lifecycle activities. Beyond enabling remote connectivity and control flow, a digital twin must be able to curate a rich decision-making context of a broad spectrum of information and lifecycle activities such as configuration, service entitlement, and maintenance and upgrade history.

Can I Get One, Too?

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The Treasure Trove (Anthonie Palamedesz)

SAP: How to Turn the Monkey on Your Back into an Asset

By | IT Strategy, Strategy | No Comments

SAP’s Enterprise Legacy

Software giant SAP boasts a rich portfolio of monolithic ERP applications that cover a broad range of enterprise business processes and policies. Over nearly half a century of continued growth, both organically and through acquisitions, SAP has established a strong presence across industries and business functions, and forged strong relationships with corporate top brass, especially in the CIO and CFO organizations.

But emerging technologies and changing business strategies are challenging the “Big ERP” market of yore. Enterprise digitalization, cloud computing, and Internet of Things-based business solutions are changing the way enterprises build IT systems and consume services. Traditional monolithic on-premise enterprise software is being replaced by cloud-based connected applications and mobile user interfaces.

In the era of lean and agile cloud-based applications threatening to displace worn-out on-premise systems, SAP needs to exploit new technologies and support cloud-based architectures and emerging business constructs. And in the eyes of some, it still needs to shake off the image of a provider of old-architecture software and stodgy mainframe-style user interfaces.  At the same time, SAP continues to support a very large installed base of more businesses and accompany them on the journey to adopt new technologies and business constructs.

This is a significant undertaking. Commenting on this, one SAP executive said: “our legacy is a great asset, but, at the same time, it can become a monkey on our back.”

How can SAP turn this monkey into a strategic asset? Read More

An Old Woman Weighing Gold Coins (Rembrandt School, 17th Century)

The ROI of IoT: Quantifying the Strategic Value of IoT

By | Internet of Things, Strategy | No Comments

The Digital Transformation: From Conduits to Content

In the earlier days of the Internet of Things, the industry was obsessed with the magnitude of the network and forecasting how many millions and billions connected “things” it will encompass. As it turned out, those predictions were mostly overblown, vague and inconsistent.

But the hypothetical ability to connect billions of devices to the Internet is of little or no consequence to most industrial companies. Of course, telecom companies, wireless carriers, and semiconductor manufacturers see growth opportunities across many industrial sectors, but these numbers are meaningless to an organization that is trying to harness the IoT to optimize and grow its business and its customers’ business.

The fascination with astronomical number of connected devices is finally subsiding and the conversation is moving gradually from data pipes and conduits to utilizing their content to create business value. Read More

The Red Queen (Sir John Tenniel, 1871)

Connected Assets Drive Business Agility

By | Internet of Things, Strategy | One Comment

Business Agility

All organizations are constantly looking for ways to improve productivity, streamline internal processes, respond to changing business circumstances, and serve customers better and quicker.

But today’s ever-changing global markets present threats and opportunities at every turn. Since 2000, more than half the companies in the Fortune 500 have either been acquired or merged, gone bankrupt, or joined their peers in the graveyard of failed businesses. These organizations failed to recognize and respond quickly enough to the pace of change. Poor business agility led to their demise.

Business leaders are worried. A new research reveals that two thirds of C-suite executives believe that 40 percent of the Fortune 500 will not exist in 10 years.

Organizations must perform better and faster to remain competitive, as the Red Queen from Through the Looking Glass observed: “My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.” Read More