Many companies expected 2020 to be a challenging year. They anticipated technological shifts that would affect their business—like the transition from combustion to electric vehicles for automotive manufacturers—or ongoing instability due to raging trade wars or Brexit. But the impact of the covid pandemic on top of these challenges has, for many companies, been unprecedented.

Never before have today’s generation of business leaders faced such a dramatic change in conditions in such a short period of time. Covid forced industrial and manufacturing companies to re-examine their perspectives on how digital solutions can and should contribute to future competitiveness. It has been much more evident that digital technologies like industry 4.0 and the industrial internet of things (IIoT) offer huge potential in enabling the fast implementation of many novel, value-adding use cases built across one common technology stack. These use cases could optimize production, supply chain operations, and resilience, as well as offering novel services—for example, connected products in many industries. Consequently, industrial companies are channeling additional resources into IIoT budget and projects as indicated by a recent IDC study (see Figure 1).

Additionally, technology investments that companies had made prior to covid with the aim of making cost savings (for example, Volkswagen’s industrialcloudhub and BMW’s open-manufacturing-platform) were suddenly mission-critical for delivering concrete, measurable business value at scale in a short amount of time.

The cost pressures that arrived with the pandemic, along with an increased need to deliver returns on investment, have led to an acceleration of digitalization as a key enabler for the future. But there is still a huge task ahead of these companies to really transform their production and business operations to generate additional value with IIoT and other industry 4.0 technologies.

The use case and PoV purgatory

Given this background, there has been a lot of activity within industrial companies to close the digital divide and reap the benefits of industry 4.0. While many are driving strategic digitalization projects and “proof of value” (PoV) efforts according to a recent study of a 150 customer projects by Reply, 95% of companies today are struggling to use IIoT solutions at scale and or use it to generate a competitive advantage (see Figure 2).

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By: Jason Sparapani
Title: The power of value 4.0 for industrial internet of things
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2020/12/22/1015424/the-power-of-value-4-0-for-industrial-internet-of-things/
Published Date: Tue, 22 Dec 2020 15:54:48 +0000

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