Welcome to the New Manufacturing Renaissance driven by a collage of sensors, robots, servers, clouds, tablets, machines, people and …things. The Internet of Everything (IoE) is serving as the canvas that connects and integrates all those “things.” Over the last few years we have been inundated by industry pundits and scholars predicting the efficiency gains, value opportunities and innovations that can be obtained from the IoE revolution. In fact, Cisco estimates the manufacturing IoE value opportunity is $4.2 trillion over the next 8 years.
Forward thinking CTO’s understand that technology plays a significant roll in enabling this renaissance. In a recent Industry Week article, our CTO, Padmasree Warrior, made the following observation:
“At this point, we believe that every company, big and small, is essentially becoming a technology company,” Warrior says. “Technology has become implicit and embedded in every business process today — the supply chain, manufacturing floor, automation and IT: They are all driven by technology and data analytics, not just operational expertise.
This renaissance is accelerating now thanks to the convergence of a number of technology trends: the low cost and accessibility of Big Data associated with cloud computing; the plummeting cost of electronic sensors, microprocessors and other components that can be used to make machines more adept; and advances in software and communications technology that make it possible to manage manufacturing with a whole new level of precision and enable new forms of collaboration.
Convergence has to not only occur between Information (IT) and Operational (OT) Technologies , but also within the C-suite. The CTO’s primary responsibilities are evolving to become more tightly integrated and aligned with the enterprise’s business and operational goals. The result is optimized business processes, enhanced information for better decisions, reduced costs, lower risks and shortened project timelines.
Sujeet Chand, chief technology officer at Rockwell Automation adds,
“The role of the CTO is no longer just to enable technology. Our role is to use that technology to help move the business forward. It’s all part of the convergence between IT and OT,”
“To really get value from that convergence, you’ve got to highlight what value is going to be derived. You don’t want to connect manufacturing to IT for the sake of connecting manufacturing to IT or put all kinds of real-time data into the cloud for no reason.”
The New Manufacturing Renaissance is creating a wave of technologies and ideas. The revolution threatens to shatter long-standing business models, upend global trade patterns and surpass the radical gains and innovations brought forth by the Industrial Revolution.
Has your organization evolved and embraced the opportunities afforded by the IoE revolution? Is your CTO driving business relevance through the innovative use of technology? Have you broken down organizational silos to foster a true innovation culture throughout the manufacturing value chain?
The technology is mightier than the paintbrush.