Beyond the digital hype: how manufacturers are leveling up
Han Tiong Law
APJC Manufacturing Lead
Technology, Digitization, Manufacturing, Enterprise Networking, Security
いらっしゃいませ！ We were proud and grateful to welcome 300 participants to Nagoya, Japan earlier this month for our annual Digital Manufacturing Summit. The event was a success in more ways than one. My main conclusion? Without a doubt, the manufacturing industry at large is entering a new phase of digital readiness.
The difference a year makes! While we identified plenty pockets of experimentation and discussed the formation of digital strategies during last year’s Digital Manufacturing Summit in Seoul, this year we saw marked progress. In fact, 12 major industry players spoke openly on stage about architecting their digital future, to an audience of competitors, ecosystem partners and Cisco participants, with the goal of learning and sharing. The fact alone that the summit almost doubled in size compared to 2018 demonstrates industry excitement and a continued focus on Digital Manufacturing.
So what was top of mind? Conversations, both on- and off stage, revolved around the progress made on informed decision making by leveraging data and analytics, as a core capability. Improving Operational Excellence and Overall Equipment Effectiveness by leveraging global IoT platforms, modular systems, and next gen industrial automation were also subject of discussion. I was also thrilled to hear five major manufacturers share how they are applying Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to their operations today.
A subject that we rarely hear about, but which turned out to be a clear industry priority, is factory risk and security. I was pleasantly surprised to hear personal cybersecurity stories from three industry players, including their strategic roadmap, initiatives and implementation details relating to security. Bain & Co’s point of view that security is the main hurdle to IoT success is certainly accurate!
New trends identified this year were agile IoT intelligence development, and how industrial collaboration technologies are deployed to maximize human growth and creativity. Several speakers touched on the importance of having data, people and organizational resources work as one to innovate for a digital future. This involves hyper awareness of Gemba, informed decision making as well as practice- and knowledge sharing.
Our Digital Manufacturing Summit 2019 revealed that digital transformation is a journey whereby you just have to keep pushing on, for there is no turning back. Individual business unit initiatives are a waste of time. Instead, the full organization needs to come along on the digital path, including all employees, to develop the sought-after digital culture. Manufacturers should also look to deepen digital integration into current production systems, as well as build their Global Digital Manufacturing standard specification and architecture, in line with the transformative nature of their sought-after change. Most importantly, they need grit and determination to leverage Digital manufacturing capabilities, as well as agility, if they wish to compete to win.
For the Cisco Digital Manufacturing Summit, we were privileged to be partnering with the most innovative and largest industry players in Asia Pacific, Japan and China. Their openness in speaking about securing and accelerating their journey to digital was inspirational. I can’t wait until our next Summit – and I look forward to welcoming you there!