Well, 2013 was a whirlwind and the first month of 2014 has flown by with hypersonic speed. We are definitely living in very unique and interesting times. As I reflect on the past year, one obvious theme or revelation always comes to the forefront…..technology and the use of it is the common fabric that enables change in our lives, whether its social, economic or environmental. The use of or the abuse of technology has always been the underpinning foundation for change.
The beginning of the New Year is always interesting and fun for me. I’m always intrigued, fascinated and often times amused by the pundits, prognosticators, “experts”, fortune tellers and the like who have never been shy about offering their viewpoints and perspectives on the trends and movements of the coming year.
Manufacturing is no exception. There are no shortage of predictions and trends being applied to the manufacturing industry. One of the common technology trends being cited is the Internet of Everything’s impact on the industry. My colleague Chet Namboodri wrote an outstanding blog entitled, “Predictions 2014: Wager on the Internet of Everything” He leverages the expertise and research from Bob Parker, IDC Group Vice- President, to provide insights and predictions on how IoE will have a profound impact on manufacturing markets and industries.
I think we can all agree that we are living in amazing times with wonderful possibilities. The world is “smaller” and more connected. The changes we promote and execute against will affect not only our next-door neighbor, but our trans-continental neighbors.
Recently my colleague Chet Namboodri in his blog “Predictions 2014: Wager on the Internet of Everything” did a great level set on predictions for 2014 Manufacturing trends. I want to add some additional comments on what I have been observing in the field and with our customers today.
The first IDC prediction described 3D value chains as an incredible source of rich productivity and we are seeing this as a goal of many companies. Not only is it the collection of this data, but it is the sharing of this data across the value chain that is going to start to explode. What this is starting to mean is that a component assembly company wants to have supply chain information from their manufacturing partners. This is expanding beyond the dock, into the warehouse and even into the manufacturing lines and cells as well. This tightly aligns with what we are seeing with customers already getting access to this information from their shop floor.
Take a look at this recent demo that John Chambers and Jim Grubb did for an example of the traceability and sophistication that a robust network can bring and how problem resolution can be much faster with real-time visibility.
As 2014 kicks off and gets rolling, the economic supply-and-demand landscape is starting to look much different than recent years. Many manufacturing companies are rethinking strategies, investments and competitive approaches to take advantage of an emerging industrial renaissance globally. Savvy manufacturers are utilizing the Internet of Everything (IoE) to converge and secure real-time visibility between business networks (information technology, IT) and control and automation systems (operational technology, OT) and to reduce costs, improve uptime, increase asset utilization, and lock-down on end-to-end security.
In fact, as part of our overall industry presence, we will be discussing this very topic at an upcoming session at Cisco Live Milan. At the “Connecting Manufacturers for Productivity, Growth and Time to Value with the Internet of Everything” (session # BRKIND-1229), held on Wednesday 29 January at 4:30 pm, we will discuss how IoE solution architecture provisions immediate, secure access to plant performance and production automation systems for management and expert teams worldwide, providing open-standard, IP-based communication and control infrastructure for production operations.
Many of our customers tell us that because Cisco’s solutions for manufacturing have proven, validated architectures, we reduce the risk for operations and control engineers. In addition, we provide them with access to networking knowledge, design guidance and expertise and more, so they can rapidly deploy smart and connected factories. If you are coming to Cisco Live Milan, please join our Cisco Manufacturing Industry and IT/OT Business Group executives and subject matter experts to learn more about best practices for this growing segment. Similarly, for the Oil and Gas industry, we have a session called “IoE in Action: Solutions and Case Studies in Oil and Gas” (BRKIND-1230) which will offer guidance and strategies to companies in this segment.
Cisco Live Milan is a chance for you to learn more about networking issues for industrial environments and figure out how to leverage IoE to meet your goals – whether it’s reducing costs, speeding time to market or improving operational effectiveness.
If you are already registered to attend Cisco Live Milan, you can register to attend this session on your Cisco Live Schedule Builder today. For more general information on Cisco Live, please visit the main event website here. See you in Milan!
As my colleague Jim Grubb points out, the IoE itself is no longer a prediction in-and-of-itself. The joining of people, process, data and things to transform information into actions and create new capabilities, richer experiences and unprecedented opportunities is already a global reality. Just how IoE impacts our economies and industries —including what many believe to be an American Manufacturing Renaissance— is what remains for our collective imaginations, innovations and entrepreneurial ingenuity.
To gain some insights and guidance on manufacturing movements, I turn to industry analyst expertise. Bob Parker, IDC Group Vice President, last week hosted the IDC Manufacturing Insights 2014 Predictions: Worldwide Manufacturing, one in a series of annual web conferences where IDC analysts share their industry outlook for the upcoming year in the form of a Top 10 Predictions. Below, I provide a recap of what Bob and his team had to say about global IT investment trends and business initiatives relating to key process areas within manufacturing, along with my contentions around the impact of IoE on the manufacturing economy and why I believe we will see a growth inflection in the industry next year. Read More »
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