How Strategic WAN Technology Spurs Digital Transformation in Manufacturing
Assembly line manufacturing was a revolution in its day. Digital manufacturing is a revolution in ours.
Manufacturers are no strangers to using IT to improve productivity and efficiency. Computer-aided design software, automation, and robotics are just some of the technologies that have had a major influence in how things are built over the last few decades. But digital transformation will take the sector to a whole new level.
Various aspects of digital transformation are incorporated under the term “Industry 4.0.” McKinsey & Company attributes the rise of Industry 4.0 to:
- incredible growth of data volumes
- computer power and connectivity
- more advanced analytics and business intelligence capabilities
- new forms of human-machine interaction like augmented reality systems
Advances like these are paving the way for smart factories that leverage physical, cyber, IoT, cloud and cognitive computing in integrated, intelligent and optimized operations. They also support a world where products are more quickly refined in response to real-time customer data input and where supply chain participants can use a common digital backbone to access transparent and unified data sets in support of faster logistics and other critical decisions.
But how do CIOs avoid the pitfalls and pave the revolutionary road?
Empowering Transformative Change: Smart Factories Need Agile Networks
A new CIO market analysis explains the digital transformation mistakes manufacturers make, guiding IT leaders to build IT infrastructure platforms that can fully support 4.0 initiatives through agility, flexibility, and reliable performance that supports cloud migration and workforces spread across many continents. Relying on streamlined WAN solutions for global enterprise operations and building partnerships that bring in expertise, specific skills, and advanced technologies are key in helping manufacturing companies accelerate their transformation.
“Managed service providers (MSPs) will be important partners, offering leading-edge solutions and the skills to deploy, administer, and manage them. Often, these will be cloud service/technology suppliers that can help the manufacturer move forward more quickly,” the report states.
One key to speed and return on investment is customization. In working with network service providers, manufacturing companies should let their risk management strategy lead the solution design. For instance, network connectivity should be prioritized for high-profile manufacturing plants that greatly impact revenue generation versus other, low-profile plants. Software defined network platforms offer state-of-the-art traffic prioritization capabilities to create a hyper-customized IT infrastructure that gives precedence to critical locations, applications, and user groups. Most importantly, these priorities should be quickly and easily adaptable when things change.
Teknion: How a Manufacturing Company Became an IoT Disruptor
Teknion has leveraged investments in its IT infrastructure to explore IoT office occupancy sensors and create big-data services that help clients maximize productivity. It’s also responding to large customer requests for B2B ecommerce platforms, experimenting with cloud solutions and today’s open API economy.
When you combine network flexibility with the fact that Teknion still makes what they sell, their secret to market domination becomes clear: Teknion can deeply control every step in both the IT and manufacturing process. This is what allows it to adapt, adjust, re-tool, and build fresh solutions on the edge of digital innovation. This is how Teknion has become a co-creator with its clients, custom designing solutions aligned with unique business needs.
“What Masergy gave us was one single reliable delivery network. All of our sites are interconnected through the Masergy network, which is a reliable connection and a single point of delivery. It’s just there for us all the time,” said John Comacchio, SVP and CIO, as quoted in the case study.
Learn more about how manufacturing IT leaders are enabling digital transformation:
- Explore the mistakes that some manufacturers make as they strive to digitally transform
- See core factors and trends driving digital transformation in the manufacturing industry
- Understand the critical technology elements networks must have to deliver on Industry 4.0
- Hear how Teknion’s network laid a foundation for transformation, enabling it to effectively compete under time-to-market pressure