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  • Jim Gavigan

Digital Transformation - Will YOU Be A Winner?

A few things I have read or watched recently have made me think about what this company, Industrial Insight, is doing. What is it I am really trying to do with this company and why should anyone buy from me or us versus spending their money on some other initiative? What is it about this whole Digitization, Big Data, IIoT, IoT, Smart Manufacturing, Manufacturing Intelligence, or Operational Intelligence (pick your buzzword) space that fires me up and drives me and why is it so important? Well, I think the short answer is that I want to create winners (my customers) and I want to win as well.

The latest thing that got me thinking was this article called “The Greatest Sales Deck I’ve Ever Seen” by Andy Raskin. Some of the thoughts dovetail in with the thoughts covered in the opening keynote speech around digital transformation at the OSIsoft User’s Conference this year by Dave Mount of Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, Byers. You can see it here.

In the greatest sales deck post, the #1 thing is to name a big, relevant change in the world. I think we are in the middle of this now. We are in the information age. Sensors are getting cheaper. Storage is getting cheaper. Computing power is easier to scale both technologically and financially. On our smart phone, we can know just about anything relevant to our world with apps and search engines like Google, Yelp, Siri, Alexa, and the like. However, in the industrial world, we can’t simply pull up the information we want like we can with these apps at a moment’s notice. I talk more about this lack of capability here. However, all of the "megatrends" are starting to allow for this transformation now.

Megatrend are helping

The #2 point in the greatest sales deck post is to show there will be winners and losers. I firmly believe that those that don't adopt a proactive information strategy will get left behind and will become obsolete. I can see it coming. Here was Dave's slide to back that up:

There will be winners

I think the slide that Dave presented that depressed and worried me most on this topic was the one below. Around 72% of several hundred Industrial IoT (IIoT) participants believe that IIoT adoption will disrupt their industry, almost 80% felt that the disruption will happen by 2020, but only around 12% understood how it would affect their own industry or their own business model. TWELVE PERCENT!?! TWELVE!!

IoT technologies will disrupt, but most don't know how

So, even people in their own industries realize that there will be winners and losers around this whole use of data/information, but the sense of urgency I see doesn't seem to match these statistics. Or, maybe the executives see it, but those in whose charge it is to leverage this technology and this field are the ones struggling to come up with the correct solutions. I'm not sure yet. I'm still wrestling with this.

Points #3 and #4 in the greatest sales deck article are to "Tease of the Promised Land" and "Introduce Features as Magic Gifts." The reality is, I have been teasing and introducing magic gifts (in my opinion) since I was an account manager for OSIsoft about four years ago. The tools not only from OSIsoft, but their partners, and even their competitors get better by the day. The promised land is out there. It really is, but here is in my mind what prevents it:

We are all too busy with reactive tasks and outdated methods

The solutions are there in a lot of cases, but the urgency and energy by most work forces is spent in other places. Fire fighting and the "problem du jour" still rule corporate America in my mind. The winners will be the ones who figure out how to get their best people out of the problem chasing mode, and allow these tremendous minds to work on proactive ideas to fundamentally change their businesses and industries. I really believe that data that is turned into information and then properly used will be turned into dollars by the winners. The losers will be the ones who keep all of their data stored away for safe keeping, but who don't proactively mine it with the best tools on the market. I am also still shocked at how many people aren't collecting time series data from their industrial assets, or who are only collecting a small subset of data. These companies will simply lose faster.

I will also predict that these changes will happen rapidly. I have two companies I deal with in the same industry. I believe one is at least 4 years ahead of the other with the way it is using data and that gap is accelerating because the one is starting to move resources to more proactive roles and is starting to see data as a strategic asset that will keep them thriving. The other one still doesn't quite have the culture to really use and leverage data. This gap will widen, and quickly.

The final point in the greatest sales deck article was that you have to present evidence that you can make the story come true. Here is what I can tell you: Industrial Insight itself may be in its infancy, but the companies that I/we are lining up with aren't. I, Jim Gavigan, have helped companies save millions of dollars in this space, and the people that will become employees of Industrial Insight will have the expertise and the drive to make sure we help our customers turn into "winners." I really don't like to make any kind of pitches in a blog as that isn't what they are for, but it was appropriate given point #5. I would have never taken the risk of starting this company if I didn't believe I could help create winners based on my past experience.

However, whether you get help from us or from another source, please, I beg you, find someone who can help you with digital transformation, the IIoT, et al. It will be worth your money if the company you hire gets the "why" of digital transformation. Don't just hire them for technical expertise, but hire them for their vision of a digital future as well.

Here are some other compelling slides from Dave's presentation that I wanted to share. It shows that digital transformation will touch all industries and many facets of our work lives:

Time series data is crucial for analytics

All industries have opportunities

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