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2018: A year of transformation

02 January 2018

In 2018 manufacturers will implement digitisation strategies that have sometimes been years in the making, according to industrial technology expert Don Rogers from World Wide Technology.

At present 59% of companies are at a ‘digital impasse’ in their transformation plans. But by the end of 2019, digital transformation spending will reach $1.7 trillion worldwide, a 42% increase compared to 2017 – according to new predictions from IDC Worldwide DX 2018 Predictions report.

Amongst early adopters, best practice for making digital transformation a success in industrial environments has focused around testing a holistic technology set, according to World Wide Technology. A complete solution includes data analytics, automated-decision making and cyber security from the outset.

Don Rogers, head of the Manufacturing Industry Practice at World Wide Technology, says: “Manufacturers have on the whole taken a very analytical approach towards digital transformation, developing comprehensive strategies which set them in good stead for making a return on investment.

“When it comes to putting these into action, decision makers in the industry have no shortage of companies telling them what to do or offering different technology solutions. Assimilating all of these technologies into an effective system is challenging.

“A tactic that is being successfully adopted in the industry is to take a verification-based approach to reduce risk. Automated-decision making – based on data collection, data analytics and application of machine learning principles – is run in a test environment alongside real operations, either validating the technology or highlighting issues that need to be ironed out.

“Security, which has caught some businesses unawares when they start connecting plants and machines to the internet, is an essential part of this first validation. It has not always been a priority but we will see industrial cyber security become a part of implementation from the outset in 2018 and beyond.”

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