Digital transformation is rapidly becoming essential for any company, regardless of its sector, activity or size, although the implementations may differ depending on the context and the expansive choices. Uncertainties – and sometimes misinformation – abound in relation to approach, strategy, timing and methods of implementation: delays can be costly in terms of loss of market share, but on the other hand, selecting an inadequate solution can equally lead to waste, negatively impacting processes, and resulting in missed objectives and creating mistrust.
Industry 4.0 can be considered the project of digital transformation. It is constituted by nine enabling technologies: advanced manufacturing solutions (autonomous robots), additive manufacturing, augmented reality (AR), horizontal and vertical system integration, (engineering) simulation, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), cybersecurity, the cloud, big data and analytics, any or all of which may form part of a company’s digital transformation. While these technologies are normally presented as the satellites of Industry 4.0, there are fundamental inter-relationships between them which are the key to any effective and balanced digital transformation suits its context and that can improve as technology, knowledge and capability improves.
In manufacturing, the Smart Factory is the ultimate expression of digital transformation: created using new production technologies that enable collaboration between suppliers, customers, operators, machines and tools, it has adequate IT infrastructures and uses sustainable energy. Effective, balanced digital transformation allows a company to improve as technology, knowledge and capability improves and suits its context.
European spending on technologies and services that enable the digital transformation (DX) of business practices, products, and organizations is forecast to reach $378.2 billion in 2022, according to the International Data Corporation* (IDC). In its Worldwide Semiannual Digital Transformation Spending Guide, the global provider of market intelligence and advisory services reports that the top DX spending priority for European manufacturers is smart manufacturing, which will see an investment of more than $27.6 billion in 2019 along with significant investments in digital innovation ($8.8 billion) and digital supply chain optimization ($5.5 billion).
The 35th International CAE Conference and Exhibition will be held in Vicenza, Italy on 28th and 29th October 2019