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#AutoFair15 Day 1 with @CiscoMFG

Well, back on the road again, it has been a straight 3 weeks of travel. From Kentucky to Shanghai then to Auckland and Sydney to Phoenix where I blogged about Cisco’s partnership with Caterpillar, now I’m back in my hometown of Chicago for Automation Fair # AutoFair15. Cisco once again has a significant presence at this leading industrial show which is Rockwell Automation’s largest user conference- with our own Booth # 1045 as well as presence in Industrial IP Advantage’s Booth #1340. We had some standing room only sessions including ones hosted by Bryan Tantzen and Randal Kenworthy.  The energy has been dynamic at this event with nearly 19,000 attendees.

A couple of key takeaways from the day- first, I was impressed with the customer engagement and quality of the conversations – especially as the network expertise of show attendees (primarily OT, controls and automation managers and professionals) have grown significantly over the years. Second, Connected Machines and the data analytics/data insight that result  comes as the number one asked about topic with Industrial security a close second. And finally, there were a lot of questions around Cisco’s recently announced Manufacturing Thought Leadership Study— research validates what folks are hearing – that disruption is happening and that organization change is needed to adopt to digitization and servitization.

My colleague Richard Mullen who was busy giving booth tours all day describes the reactions from the show floor:

“What I’m hearing from customers is that they now understand the value when hearing about IP as a data conduit from the plant floor. This ability to predict when things will break is of tremendous value to them. In addition, customers have told me that Cisco and Rockwell have come a long way in a year as far as integration — they are saying- ‘we would like to see even more network visibility within the PLC application to make management even easier. We understand it is a journey but you (Cisco) and Rockwell are leading the way.’ ”         

Here’s one of our cool demonstration stations showing our partnership with robotics manufacturer FANUC.

FANUC at AF2015

Thursday, the second day of the show promises to bring even more interesting discussions Read More »

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In the Digital Vortex, It’s All About the Value, Not the Value Chain

Five years ago, the taxi industry seemed about as immune to digital disruption as any industry could be. Taxis, after all, were purely analog contraptions, far removed from digital innovation, software, apps, and the like. What’s more, their business model seemed as foolproof as the day it was created in the early 1900s: drivers prowled the streets until they spotted customers hailing a ride, drove them to their destination, and collected the fare.

Right? Well, wrong, actually. Enter Uber, and the taxi industry will never be the same.

Uber is a great example of what our recent Digital Vortex thought leadership called combinatorial disruption. In today’s climate of constant digital disruption, technologies and business models collide, combine, and recombine in startling ways. As the Digital Vortex sweeps everything of value to the center, non-digital processes fall away, to be replaced by more efficient value drivers.

In this model, the creation of new value is everything; the old value chain, meanwhile, is redefined to the point of being unrecognizable or obsolete with unnerving (for an industry incumbent) speed. Read More »

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In the Digital Age, Fortune Favors the Bold

The ancient Roman poet Virgil might feel at home in the Digital Age (once the initial future shock wears off!). He famously said, “Fortune favors the bold.” These words have never been more prescient.

In a recent article, we likened the current climate of ever-present disruption, innovation, and change to a Digital Vortex, in which ideas and technologies constantly break apart and recombine — often into highly disruptive and sometimes unexpected new business models (Apple, Amazon, Tesla, and Fortune magazine’s list of unicorns have benefited from this phenomena).

In the Digital Vortex, bold innovation and gutsy, disruptive new business models are a necessity. That is, if you want your company to be a disruptor rather than disrupted.

By their very nature, startups exemplify this bold approach. They are smaller, more agile, able to experiment, innovate and execute faster, and recover from minor missteps more quickly. Above all, they are digital. Read More »

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Five Keys to Success Leading Digital Business Transformation

As we explored in my previous blog, today’s rampant pace of innovation can be likened to a Digital Vortex, where ideas, technologies, and even entire industries are swept to the center of the Vortex — recombining and merging into disruptive new business models.

In such an environment, digital business transformation is critical — and demands decisive top-down leadership. Nevertheless, as our Digital Vortex research revealed, 45 percent of companies don’t consider digital disruption a board-level concern.

That represents a dangerous level of complacency, especially for market incumbents. We all know the names of seemingly immune incumbents that rested easy as innovative disruptors combined technologies into new business models — challenging and disrupting them from seemingly out of nowhere. Those disruptors were innovative, agile, and, of course, digital (see chart below from our Digital Vortex research).

Source: Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, 2015

Source: Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, 2015

As Chris Skinner, author of Digital Bank, told our team, “If banks aren’t digital Read More »

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Digital Business Transformation Starts with Five Key Leadership Questions

While digital disruption is overturning incumbents faster than just about any force in history, many business leaders are not getting the memo.
As I wrote in my previous blog, our recent “Digital Vortex” research found that nearly four in 10 top incumbents will be displaced in each industry due to digital disruption over the next five years. Nevertheless, 45 percent of companies don’t consider digital disruption a board-level concern.

MikeRiegelDigitalVortexPart2Pic1 Read More »

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