Since the days of mainframes, convergence has always been the underlying aim of technology. So far, however, it has been thwarted by the sheer profusion of transformational technologies that, while vastly enabling new and better business processes, have been deployed in disconnected fashion, suboptimizing their full value. Now, we believe, asset- and capital-intensive businesses must aggressively pursue the goal of convergence if they are to survive, let alone thrive, in the Secure, Intelligent, Connected Economies (SICE).
Today’s Disconnected Technology Environment
If you are like most global organizations today, most of your digital transformation efforts have gone into enhancing the customer experience and improving the Backoffice operations.
Your factories, warehouses and supply chain partners were barely connected, and you were thankful when you could exchange data and analytics intermittently. You launched products that could go online, and you hoped that clients would establish profiles on the devices that would enable you to continuously engage with them and control the devices to their liking.
You dreamed of seamless operations, real-time analytics with your partners, and your products as intelligent devices. However, these ambitions were dashed as they relied on high computing power on your devices, high-bandwidth, low latency connections and highly complex integrations across the edge, IIoT platforms and the rest of the value chain.
Your technology departments ensured that you were rife with digital assets – cloud, wireless, cybersecurity solutions, ERP and PLM software – but these assets declined in utility the further you moved away physically from your corporate and retail locations.
Digital transformation results have been disappointing despite the extraordinary amount of time, effort, and expenditures involved. A McKinsey survey of the results of organizations’ digital transformations found that only 16 percent of respondents improved their performance sustainably. Even digitally knowledgeable industries like telecom and high tech had a success rate of no more than 26 percent, while traditional industries reached just 4 to 11 percent. And small companies were found to be more than twice as likely to report success than those with more than 50,000 employees.
The reason for the failed efforts is simple: a digital disconnect.
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