What has taught 2018, or practical steps, how to begin the introduction of digital technologies already in 2019

So, while 2018 is still with us, we are summing up the digital totals and telling us which IT technologies have become particularly relevant, how we estimate the past year and what the time is right to make the next year more “digital”.

The main conclusion of 2018 was that the majority of organizations of the high-tech complex of Russia (VTK) have a rather low level of adaptability to digital transformation. One of the main reasons for this condition is the lack of competent specialists in modern digital agendas at enterprises.

The market itself will not change the situation

2018 gave many executives in companies an understanding of the role of predictive technologies in the management process, which is an essential feature of the digital transition.
The technologies of additive manufacturing are recognized as the most significant innovations in the digitalization of the production process. This in most cases concerns those organizations that have invested in new equipment.

Although as of today, about two thirds of organizations in the manufacturing sector are not yet ready to use the digital representation of the product. These companies still have a fairly low level of adaptability due to the low level of maturity of digital competencies among key employees and the inclusion of individual elements of digital transformation in the practice of strategic management of organizations. At the same time, they almost all understand that the advent of digital technology is not a matter of choice. It is like the seasons. Just life will now always be with digital technology. The question is only in the seasonal factor (adaptability of technologies for specific processes of companies).

It is also necessary to remember that the market itself will not change the situation: the owners of the majority of such industrial enterprises are not able to finance the necessary technical re-equipment of production. For large plants, these are dozens - hundreds of millions of dollars. It is often cheaper to build new plants with new equipment from scratch.

With investment resources available to companies in the processing industries, such digitalization costs are unrealistic. They can only automate the financial sphere, and in production they, as a rule, can only indefinitely extend the operating life of existing equipment, possibly purchasing additional critical elements.

We reduce the influence of the human factor

So what awaits us in the next couple of years in the face of limited funding for digitalization projects in various companies?

With the highest probability in the near future, such technologies will be manifested in the external environment and will be introduced at the enterprises of VTC (high-tech complex) of Russia, which will cover the next three blocks of changes.

First, this is the deployment of digital infrastructure (electronic marketplaces, broadband). Secondly, digital threats (the whole block of cyber threats and the tangle of processes leading to the degradation of natural intelligence); Thirdly, the development and availability of new production and management technologies based on digital achievements.

However, first of all, you need to fulfill some conditions, and they are applicable to any type of company:

  1. Computerize workplaces and production equipment.
  2. Use modern pre-production software, production management and resource management.
  3. To create a single information space at the enterprise, with the help of which all automated enterprise management systems, as well as industrial equipment, production personnel will be able to exchange information in a timely and timely manner.

The most important thing is to get rid of the influence of the human factor. For example, the introduction and use of, for example, MDC (Machine Data Collection) systems will allow monitoring the work of all production facilities (equipment, jobs for key workers, service personnel, etc.) in order to manage production. The important thing is that everything should become transparent. This is the foundation for the transition to digital production.

The Internet of Things on the Crest of Popularity

The leaders in terms of investment in the short term will be 2–3 of the following years for the Internet of Things in Russia, where they will mainly be represented in the manufacturing sector and transport companies. In addition, the top five in investment activity will include energy, the consumer segment (retail) and the public sector. It is noteworthy that a good growth rate will show cross-industrial solutions.

By 2018, most of the implemented IoT solutions are business models of the first generation - Internet of Things 1.0. This model is characterized by an emphasis on the installation of various sensors and sensors and on the organization of their connection. Of course, services and applications for analyzing the collected information are also used, but the “depth” of data processing is small.

In the transition to the Internet of Things 2.0 model, the focus will shift to analytics. The benefits of the cloud model, machine learning tools and cognitive computing will be used. In this case, IoT platforms will more actively use open program APIs for exchanging data with other systems, as well as various open source applications.

Although you need to remember the same Internet of things is meaningless without a means of analyzing the collected data, whereas analytics means turn into nothing in the absence of sources of this data (connected devices).

Digitalization: Selection and Implementation of Technologies

To date, in the production of large amounts of information are read from the instrumentation and recorded on servers. Practice and research show that subsequently, on average, only 5% of this information is used.

For most large Russian enterprises, mass production is characteristic (commodity). In this case, the main focus of digitalization in the choice of technologies will be aimed at reducing operating costs, improving the quality level and timeliness of deliveries to the end user.

For enterprises that produce special or customized products, digital technologies will first of all allow the development of products that best meet the needs of the client. This will be possible by embedding sensors in products that will share information about their use.

Three practical steps to start introducing digital technologies as early as 2019:

  1. Implement technological measures to increase the use of available information when making management decisions from 5% to at least 30%. Such activities include: structuring the information received, its classification, determining the levels at which it can be useful for making management decisions, developing algorithms for further movement of the processed information, storing it and using the data to analyze and compare the performance of the production process in the future.
  2. To involve external experience (partners, business consultants, etc.) to determine priority measures and projects on digitization of production. We need to act quickly now, but new technologies require new competencies, and a drastic change in production management processes can lead to system crashes and panic. Outside experience and external experience are extremely important for manufacturing companies that are beginning the transformation for the first time.
  3. To launch mini-projects (pilots) on adaptation, testing and deployment of new technologies at production sites. Under uncertainty, the try and adjust strategy works better. It is safer and more efficient than developing a detailed plan for many months to come.

How to choose the most "necessary" technology

How to navigate in this, choose the technologies that are needed precisely industrial enterprises? Study success stories, learn about the experiences of other enterprises in different industries. There are many examples: this, for example, is the BMW plant with the use of augmented reality technologies and robots, and the Russian KAMAZ, which has chosen the course of universal robotization and automation of its production, digital warehouses, delivery, and many others.

The main condition for choosing the direction of digitalization - the applicability of certain technologies must be justified and justified from the point of view of the economy and the future of the company. Properly chosen transformation model makes the technology work in the right direction: to change the product itself or reduce costs and increase the level of service for customers.

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