Digital industrial transformation is about more than just…well, digital. At the heart of any smart, connected system–be it a collection of assets in a plant, a smart factory, or a fully-interconnected digital supply network–is data. Knowledge. The illumination of previously unknown information about the inner workings of physical production and digital operations systems, about people and assets. And the ability to take that information and use it to know more, make better business decisions, improve performance, and better anticipate the future. In short, turning insight into informed action.
I was privileged to present alongside my colleague, Mark Cotteleer, at Minds + Machines 2017 earlier this fall in San Francisco. While I was excited to talk about the rise of Industry 4.0 and the evolution of the smart, connected, data-driven factory, I came away with much more. It’s always exciting to hear what others think, see some of the newest developments in technology, and listen as some industry leaders share their knowledge. For me, it highlighted the incredible reach and breadth of digital industrial transformation: its impact not only on a multitude of industries and sectors, but on the very fabric of day-to-day business, innovation, manufacturing, and society.