Intelligence: What It Means To You And Industrial Manufacturers

Judy Cubiss

What is intelligence? Is it getting a degree from an Ivy League college? The ability to speak many languages? Being to answer all the questions on your TV quiz show from the sofa?

What about intelligent technologies – is it just your Nest thermostat adjusting the temperature based on family usage patterns? Locking your front door remotely when your kids forgot to do it? We hear intelligence describing technology more and more, but here is a perspective on what it means and what do you can do with it as an industrial manufacturer:

Intelligent technologies are key enablers for industrial manufacturers transforming themselves in response to both their customers’ needs and market trends. Some intelligent technologies have been around for awhile, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and advanced analytics. But, some are more recent, unfamiliar entrants to the enterprise market; such as machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain. Using these technologies (especially in combination) helps innovative industrial manufacturers transform into event-driven, intelligent enterprises.

What is an event-driven enterprise? It is one that automates repetitive tasks using different technologies without the need for intervention, thus enabling employees to focus on higher-value tasks, such as inventing new business models and revenue streams by monetizing data-driven capabilities and applying core competencies in new ways.

Innovative manufacturers believe, overwhelmingly, that intelligent technologies are important to achieve their digital transformation goals, according to a July 2018 commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of SAP, “Emerging Opportunities for Discrete Manufacturers To Deploy Industry Processes In The Cloud.” (Innovative manufacturers were those that rated themselves highly across the board for innovation in strategy, technology, people, process, and culture.)

importance of intelligent tech to achieve digital transformation goals of manufacturers

The study also indicated that these innovative manufacturers have already adopted more of these technologies in the cloud than their competition – and that these innovators expected to gain significantly more benefits in terms of strategy, business, and IT than other discrete manufacturing companies by deploying these intelligent technologies in the cloud.

which intelligent technologies are used in the cloud

And these innovative manufacturers also saw much more value in deploying intelligent technologies than other discrete manufacturing companies.  This was across strategic, business, and IT key performance indicators.

impact of intelligent technologies on business capabilities
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Turns out, companies are approaching deploying intelligent technologies in three non-sequential, observable ways:

  1. By optimizing existing processes for more efficiency or reliability, such as applying machine learning to service ticket responses or routings, or remotely monitoring customers’ machines such as Hoerbiger monitoring its customers’ remote wellhead compression units.
  1. By extending current business processes beyond efficiency gains to capture new sources of value, including providing predictive maintenance and service offerings like Kaeser Kompressoren, which uses real-time data, predictive analytics, digital twins, and machine learning to provide customers with tailored solutions.
  1. Or by transforming the entire value chain or business model to capture new revenue streams, monetizing data based on asset information. For example, Schindler Group has reimaged its business based on data. As Nilesh Mhatre, CIO Americas, Schindler Elevator Corporation, shared:

“Innovation with data at the core has changed our perspective – it makes us more competitive and creates new opportunities.”

While your individual definition of intelligence is open to interpretation, it is a fact that implementing intelligent technologies is seen as a key enabler for manufacturers as they deliver their digital priorities and gain significant benefits from digitalization.

For more information, read the white paper “The Intelligent Enterprise for the Industrial Machinery and Components Industry.”

When do you feel most intelligent? Let me know by tweeting me at @JuCubiss or commenting below!


Judy Cubiss

About Judy Cubiss

Judy Cubiss is Global Marketing Lead for Industrial Machinery and Components and Automotive at SAP. She has worked in the software industry for over 20 years in a variety of roles, including consulting, product management, solution management, and content marketing in both Europe and the United States.