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IT Strategy

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

Magic Mirror (M.C. Escher, 1946)

Recharging Your PLM Investment

By | IT Strategy, PLM | One Comment

What Does the ‘L’ in PLM Stand For?

Many product companies that use product lifecycle management software do not manage to reach the full potential of the concept and exploit the power of the software.  Often, the engineering department merely uses PLM product data management (PDM) tools as the system of record, and as a central repository of product design changes. But these only scratch the surface of toady’s very capable PLM software tools.

A long-promised, but frequently under-delivered, the principle of PLM has been the ability to frontload key product-related decisions such that design engineers can incorporate key capabilities and considerations concerning downstream activities such as manufacturing and service. Later, as the product continues down the path and goes into production and deployment, the PLM software provides feedback that informs upstream processes about manufacturing quality, warranty issues, and field service operations. These, in turn, enable a continuous quality and product improvement process throughout the product’s life, all the way to its decommission and retirement. This is the ‘L’ in PLM; at least, this is the intent.

Why do some product organizations struggle to implement this notion and to incorporate downstream considerations during early design stages and thereafter? Read More

Kroa A (Victor Vasarely, 1970)

Why Are You Not Using Component-Based Software Development?

By | IT Strategy | No Comments

Software Is Eating the World

It’s been over five years since Marc Andreessen famously quipped in The Wall Street Journal essay “Software Is Eating the World”. Today, the idea that practically all new products are software driven and “every company needs to become a software company” is almost a cliché.

From personal gadgets to home appliances, and from cars to the power generation and distribution industry, sophisticated software provides functionality and value for consumers, and ability to tailor products to a broad array of industry applications and individual tastes and needs.

The recent wave of rapid innovation and aggressive proliferation of enabling software technologies, ranging from blockchain and the Internet of Things to data analytics and artificial intelligence, is affording product company excellent opportunities to innovate rapidly and offer new and exciting products at lower cost and smaller physical footprint. Read More

Clairvoyance (Rene? Magritte, 1936)

Digital Transformation and The Internet of Things

By | Internet of Things, IT Strategy | One Comment

The Industrial Internet of Things seems to be in full swing, as the digital transformation of business operations and customers engagement models promises to bring about radical business improvements, new customers and additional revenue streams.

And technology innovations continue to keep the conversation alive, as hardware miniaturization, reduced power consumption, falling hardware prices, and ubiquitous wireless connectivity proliferate and power practically all new products.

The confluence of new technologies and innovative business models fuels the growth of the Industrial Internet of Things. There are plenty of compelling arguments—both business-oriented and technology-induced—that the Industrial Internet of Things will, indeed, lead to a radical transformation in practically every business sector.

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