Friday, May 27, 2022
digital transformation

The corona virus has had the global economy under control for a year. Supply chains broke, workforces went to the home office and many industrial processes had to be rethought. According to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, this acted as a catalyst: "We experienced the digital transformation of two years in two months."

Even companies that had already started digitization programs felt a significantly increased pressure for digital transformation. Plans had to be re-evaluated to establish smarter and more resilient processes. How will this development continue in year two of the pandemic? To do this, the software group interviewed partner companies and experts from the manufacturing industry.

Microsoft survey: Internet of Things reaches industry

"The most important trend remains the industrial Internet of Things, despite the Covid pandemic and uncertainties on the sales markets," says Marco Becker, Senior Consultant at the market research and consulting company IDC. In the autumn of last year, the augurs surveyed a good 250 companies with more than 100 employees from five industrial and industry-related focus sectors. They wanted to know how their implementation plans of IIoT projects have developed, what current and future challenges they are facing and where they are already using IoT technologies.

The market researchers conclude that the comprehensive networking of machines and departments in the industrial Internet of Things and the intelligent evaluation of the data obtained as a result can be used in many ways. On the one hand, to stabilize and expand ongoing business (business continuity). On the other hand, data can also be used to strengthen resilience to changing framework conditions (business resilience).

IIot projects despite because of Corona

No wonder, then, that 59 percent of the companies surveyed by Microsoft are planning new IIoT projects for the next 12 months - despite or perhaps because of the upheavals and uncertainties in the market caused by Corona. Because it is precisely in times of crisis that modern technologies are needed for market researchers and the IIoT is a prime example for them: It helps to optimize efficiency in the short term and opens up opportunities for better business decisions and new business models in the medium and long term.

Microsoft sees the crisis as a catalyst for digital transformation

The second trend that Microsoft has identified also plays a role in data analysis in IIoT: artificial intelligence (AI). "Artificial intelligence will continue to find its way into industrial applications," says Christoph Berlin, Partner Program Manager Azure Industrial IoT/Manufacturing at Microsoft. Above all, it is now about bringing the technology closer to the people, both to those who operate machines in the factories and to those who develop the processes.

Further increase in productivity through AI

Berlin is certain that further increases in productivity in high-tech manufacturing companies can only be achieved through the massive use of AI and machine learning. What's more, data-based services will also be able to contribute a significant part of the added value in the manufacturing industry. "While automation has so far primarily made processes more efficient, we can use AI to create completely new processes and develop even better offers for our customers," explains Melanie Weber, Industry Executive Chemical, Pharma & Life Science at Microsoft Germany. This would make developments possible that were hardly imaginable just a few years ago. For example, AI-supported supply chains that realign themselves when failures occur.

Microsoft calls the third trend "remote everything" and it is also being driven forward by the pandemic. "First, companies stabilized themselves by working from home and now it's about getting all other areas fit for remote work," explains Thorsten Cleve, Director Manufacturing, Chemicals, Life Science at Microsoft Germany.

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digital transformation

The corona virus has had the global economy under control for a year. Supply chains broke, workforces went to the home office and many industrial processes had to be rethought. According to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, this acted as a catalyst: "We experienced the digital transformation of two years in two months."

Even companies that had already started digitization programs felt a significantly increased pressure for digital transformation. Plans had to be re-evaluated to establish smarter and more resilient processes. How will this development continue in year two of the pandemic? To do this, the software group interviewed partner companies and experts from the manufacturing industry.

Microsoft survey: Internet of Things reaches industry

"The most important trend remains the industrial Internet of Things, despite the Covid pandemic and uncertainties on the sales markets," says Marco Becker, Senior Consultant at the market research and consulting company IDC. In the autumn of last year, the augurs surveyed a good 250 companies with more than 100 employees from five industrial and industry-related focus sectors. They wanted to know how their implementation plans of IIoT projects have developed, what current and future challenges they are facing and where they are already using IoT technologies.

The market researchers conclude that the comprehensive networking of machines and departments in the industrial Internet of Things and the intelligent evaluation of the data obtained as a result can be used in many ways. On the one hand, to stabilize and expand ongoing business (business continuity). On the other hand, data can also be used to strengthen resilience to changing framework conditions (business resilience).

IIot projects despite because of Corona

No wonder, then, that 59 percent of the companies surveyed by Microsoft are planning new IIoT projects for the next 12 months - despite or perhaps because of the upheavals and uncertainties in the market caused by Corona. Because it is precisely in times of crisis that modern technologies are needed for market researchers and the IIoT is a prime example for them: It helps to optimize efficiency in the short term and opens up opportunities for better business decisions and new business models in the medium and long term.

Microsoft sees the crisis as a catalyst for digital transformation

The second trend that Microsoft has identified also plays a role in data analysis in IIoT: artificial intelligence (AI). "Artificial intelligence will continue to find its way into industrial applications," says Christoph Berlin, Partner Program Manager Azure Industrial IoT/Manufacturing at Microsoft. Above all, it is now about bringing the technology closer to the people, both to those who operate machines in the factories and to those who develop the processes.

Further increase in productivity through AI

Berlin is certain that further increases in productivity in high-tech manufacturing companies can only be achieved through the massive use of AI and machine learning. What's more, data-based services will also be able to contribute a significant part of the added value in the manufacturing industry. "While automation has so far primarily made processes more efficient, we can use AI to create completely new processes and develop even better offers for our customers," explains Melanie Weber, Industry Executive Chemical, Pharma & Life Science at Microsoft Germany. This would make developments possible that were hardly imaginable just a few years ago. For example, AI-supported supply chains that realign themselves when failures occur.

Microsoft calls the third trend "remote everything" and it is also being driven forward by the pandemic. "First, companies stabilized themselves by working from home and now it's about getting all other areas fit for remote work," explains Thorsten Cleve, Director Manufacturing, Chemicals, Life Science at Microsoft Germany.