Smart machinery and refined, streamlined automation is the next big step in industrial digital transformation. Regardless of the industry, every enterprise across the globe should be seeking digital solutions to get in a position for future success. This means converging on operational and information technologies for a seamless, connected enterprise.
In our digitally-fueled world, technology allows consumers to connect and feel closer to their favorite brands. Modern-day shoppers want meaningful interaction with the enterprises that they opt to do business with. They expect valuable engagement well past the first purchase or initial transaction. And through a connected enterprise, one can develop and nurture this customer-business relationship to drive value and create a positive feedback loop for the company.
Customer opinions are vital, and their level of satisfaction and loyalty can make or break an enterprise. Without centralizing a business around these key components, you won’t be able to keep up in this ever-evolving technological landscape. A connected enterprise provides the solution with a more consumer-centric approach.
A connected enterprise is when each section of a company is connected through integrated technology. That means every department, every function – engineering, manufacturing, sales, logistics, HR, customer service, marketing, finance, R&D and every other division within the enterprise – are all able to securely connect. An enterprise can reduce operating costs and improve efficiency through big data gathered by this digital connection of processes, people and equipment.
The ability to share and communicate across the enterprise, combined with quality data collection, help sharpen executive-level and functional decision-making processes. Companies can do away with the traditional, albeit cumbersome, model in exchange for predictive analytics and constantly flowing real-time data with a connected enterprise.
Industrial sectors like transportation, logistics, and especially manufacturing were some of the first to integrate a connected enterprise into their infrastructure. However, the concept is relatively new. Especially when you consider when the first industrial revolution took place, concepts for the current industry 4.0 are fresh and ever-expanding.
Since its introduction and success in those capital intensive industries, the connected enterprise model now has worldwide attention. Nearly every industry has started with the application and implementation process in just the last handful of years, with some lagging behind more than others.
In that sense, no, not every enterprise is connected – yet. However, it’s no secret that a connected enterprise can maximize its transparency, speed, and performance. These are universally valued qualities. As industrial AI and other connected technology solutions glide onto the stage, a connected enterprise is more beneficial than ever.
Some key elements make up a successful connected enterprise: optimized infrastructure, AI integration, data mobility and an enterprise-wide unified vision.
The infrastructure isn’t just the machinery – rather, it constitutes the software and hardware of an enterprise, individuals and production teams and the configured network that brings it all together. A connected enterprise needs a cloud-ready infrastructure capable of self-optimization. Since it’s via the cloud, it supports cross-collaboration, helps better structure and organize processes and integrates typical enterprise functions to keep business going as usual.
Artificial intelligence is a vital part of the connected enterprise solution. Data-rich industrial AI tools will be the base of a production-grade and enterprise-worthy AI environment. This type of data-driven, digital ecosystem helps further extend data collaboration from end to end.
Furthermore, it goes beyond mere AI tech. AI and IoT combine for an industrial IoT experience. This AIoT, or Artificial Intelligence of Things, is essentially both the brain and central nervous system for the whole operation. Self-healing and self-optimizing, AIoT delivers connectivity and furthers efficiency for manufacturing and other capital intensive industries.
Data analytics gathers the raw information from each device, as well as the infrastructure as a whole. Using the appropriate tech, an enterprise can convert this industrial data into decision-making information and useful metrics.
It’s the data mobility and integration that truly help define it as part of the connected enterprise, however. What once felt like a daunting task of mobilizing and integrating the plethora of different-formatted information across the entire enterprise becomes a more manageable agenda. Data going forward can be future-proofed and universally formatted for secure, efficient transmission across the business.
An Enterprise-Wide, Unified Vision
As we said before – customers’ opinions are vital to an enterprise’s success. Word of mouth is a powerful tool, both for positive and negative feedback, and access to the world wide web means that consumers can spread their opinion far and wide.
Since the consumer can walk away at any time, actionable data for customer retention is a necessity. That means taking the data collected and carving out new insights to better understand and interact with customers. Through a connected enterprise, organizations can more readily engage with their customers on a consistent, comprehensive, and – most importantly – individualized level.
A more collaborative enterprise is also a tighter-knit company. With employees able to interact and communicate across every sector, it boosts morale. When you make the transition towards a connected enterprise, you’re not just putting the customer first. You’re also making your employees and your enterprise’s future both vital priorities.
What is a connected digital enterprise?
The connected digital enterprise is a business model that uses information and communication technologies to create value for customers and businesses.
What is meant by connected technologies?
Connected technologies simply are technologies that are connected to the internet.