Digital transformation can be defined as the integration of digital technologies into all areas of business, primarily changing how companies operate and deliver value to its customers. It helps a company to keep pace with emerging customer demands.
Digital transformation enables businesses to better compete in an economic landscape that is constantly changing as technology evolves. Therefore, it is necessary for any business that aims to survive into the future.
In the scope of this overview, we primarily look at the business dimension. The mentioned development of new competencies revolves around the capacities to be more innovative, agile, customer-centric and be able to capitalize on opportunities to change the status quo and also tap into the highly informative and service driven revenue. The efforts put into the digitization processes are most urgent.
With an effective digital transformation strategy, companies look to create the required capabilities to efficiently leverage the possibilities and opportunities of new technologies and its impact faster, and in a more innovative way in the future. The journey needs a staged approach with a well-defined roadmap, which involves a variety of stakeholders, beyond silos and limitations.
The human element is critical when it comes to the Digital transformation journey. Humans play a crucial role in the stages of transformation such as culture, collaboration, skills, empowerment and so on.
Since businesses also understand that they cannot digitize everything and as they also value the human interaction, there will always be on the offline element, depending on the context. Yet, even in the non-digital front, digital transformation plays a role in empowering any customer facing agent.
According to the IDC research, by the end of 2019, companies spending on digital transformation will reach $1.7 trillion worldwide, a 42% increase from 2017.
Technology drives the need for digitization and supports this process in an organization. Moreover, there is no single technology as such that enables digital transformation. There are multiple critical processes in a company that must have to transform.
Cloud computing, for instance, grants a company faster access to its required set of functionalities along with data storage. Commoditized information technology helps an organization in focusing its investments of talent acquisition and R&D on customized solutions that support the unique requirements and the processes that differentiate it in the marketplace.
Mobile platforms enable work to happen 24/7 from any location. Robust data programs that fuel machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies provide organizations with insights to drive more accurate decisions around sales, product development, and other strategic areas.
Digital transformation examples
Here are some of the companies that have successfully integrated digital transformation into their process.
Starbucks is one of the first few brands that implemented digital transformation, it launched the Starbucks digital ventures in the year 2009. Their mobile app offers a well-integrated and user-friendly digital loyalty platform and has become one of the main factors in building the digital ecosystem.
By letting customers redeem and earn stars and goodies within the app, this brand’s mobile app has become a really powerful tool to attract loyal customers. This approach even helped them increase their overall revenue. As of 2017, the mobile app had close to 20 million active users in the US region alone.
Through digitization, the customer experience has also improved significantly. The customers can now place orders and make the payment with the app using the Order & Pay feature. As a result, the waiting time is eliminated. As this is a more convenient option, a vast majority of customers prefer Mobile Order & Pay.
IKEA gained massive popularity with its immersive digital campaigns. In the year 2009, IKEA was one of the first few companies to have gamification on social media platform, letting the customers win items when they just tag themselves on some of the items in a photograph.
Recently, the company has turned to AR in order to redefine customer experience. IKEA has gotten into a collaboration with Apple to build IKEA Place, an AR application that allows the customers to try out virtual, ready to assemble furniture in a physical environment, before making the final purchase decision.
Digitization has been one of the primary strategies for JetBlue. They focus on process efficiency methodologies by cutting off any transactions that do not contribute to the customer experience.
The process automation generally comes in the form of the automatic check-in process, where the customers are registered, allocated seats and sent their boarding passes one day before their flight.
The company’s in-flight Wi-Fi has also contributed to the crew’s productivity when it comes to attending to the customer needs. The cabin crews can use handheld devices such as iPads to access customer information, such as their category of loyalty membership, or certain personal details such as their birthday, wedding anniversary and so on.
This company has made an effort to keep up with technology consistently. One of their latest innovation is the smartwatch app, which offers information pertaining to the customer’s travel such as real-time flight updates, boarding pass details and so on.
Adding to that, Jetblue has also gone an extra mile in setting up Jetblue Technology Ventures, a subsidiary that is focused on research on future technologies.
How is Digital Transformation impacting various industries?
Digitization plays a crucial role in automotive manufacturing. It equips the interior suppliers with necessary tools and helps them remain flexible and relevant in this modern era.
With an increase in customer demand for value-added vehicles, the automotive suppliers are facing an immense pressure in coming up with the changing preferences and requirements, while remaining operational and profitable.
Digitization in automotive manufacturing has made companies improve their competitiveness while setting a strong foundation for the future growth in a steadily evolving manufacturing landscape.
With emerging technologies, strict regulations and changing customer preferences, the hoteliers are now forced to be highly vigilant.
Today’s biggest challenge is about staying relevant in the market. The need to provide a fantastic customer experience and embracing new market requirements are the key drivers for the digitization in the hospitality industry.
Digital transformation is becoming a driving factor that is bringing about a change in the world around us. Connectivity has not only shown the potential to empower thousands of people but has also provided businesses with fantastic opportunities for value creation.
The Oil and Gas industry has played a significant role in transforming the economic condition of the world over the years. At present, it has the potential to redefine its boundaries using the power of digitization. Digitization can act as an enabler for tackling challenges and providing value to all the stakeholders.
The impact of digital technologies would be far more in the healthcare industry, which is yet to see the full impact of disruption due to technology. The increasing complexity of medical practice, globally aging population, rising demand for quality and consistent health care forces current systems to become smarter.
To this end, an evolution towards improving services and reducing costs has begun. The use of technologies was limited to the digitization of the EHR / EMR, rather than it providing the real impact and value to the providers and to the consumers.
Incorporating Digital Transformation
The best thing about the digital transformation is that there is no single solution. Changing how your company works with tomorrow’s technology depends completely on how you approach and work with today’s technology.
So, where exactly is your company positioned now? Is your company still relying on traditional software? Are your employees already familiar with the public cloud environment, but finding it hard to port apps back in-house?
Is your business ready to make the critical technological decisions? One must understand that wherever you are, that is exactly where you start.
Every company starts from a different place, there is no universally applicable digital transformation framework that fits every business needs. Your company may have to rethink the existing application, business processes, and development methodologies.
Going digital is a long-term strategy, It will involve a technological and cultural change in order to bring about a lasting organizational success. It need not be disruptive, however, the goal should be on getting comfortable with change before the market demands it.
In order to thrive in the subscription economy, companies have to think beyond just setting a monthly pricing on products.
The subscription-based model has to be rethought from the customers perspective, as the shift to this subscription economy is mainly driven by the customers.
Customers of the modern era are expecting a real-time experience with instant fulfillment. Subscribers also have the choice of switching between service providers, which puts the vendors at threat, therefore, they will have to earn the loyalty of their subscribers by providing ongoing value.
In order to do this, they should be able to efficiently market, sell and deliver based on a proper understanding of consumer behavior.
In order to ensure long-term association with customers, companies migrating to a subscription-based model must work on certain key areas:
The identity of a subscriber: The details of the customers should not be restricted to just their names and contact numbers. A subscriber identity record has to include purchases, payment history, refund details, renewal details, usage data and much more.
The Journey of a Subscriber: Companies have to create and manage the subscriber journey, which deepens the connect from initial signup to include upgrades, new services or renewals.
Offer Discounts for longer-term subscriptions: By offering subscribers a variety of payment options, and offering a reasonable discount to those who agree to pay upfront on a quarterly basis or a yearly basis, you have a better chance of attracting more number of customers.
Automate the renewal process: Collect as much data as you possibly can about your customers and send out personalized emails on offers to convince them to renew before they churn, which is usually at the 6 or 12-month mark.
Just a decade ago, Blockbuster dominated the movie rental business and was valued at $8 billion in 2005. Around the same time, Netflix was using the postal service to distribute DVDs, and it didn’t seem to have a chance to compete with Blockbuster.
Yet Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in 2010 and around the same time Netflix gained 16 million subscribers by streaming movies online.
So, how did Netflix upset Blockbuster?
The executives of Netflix understood that the emerging technology was rapidly changing the delivery of movie rentals. They quickly developed a strategy around internet streaming, prompt customer service, and a remote/virtual firm to offer it flawlessly at an affordable price.
Netflix also improved its service and outmoded pricing. Blockbuster had charged $5 for each movie, and customers hated the fees that were charged for late returns.
Learning from Blockbuster’s mistake, Netflix used a monthly subscription option that allows unlimited rentals without any late fees. These critical strategic moves helped Netflix become one of the best in the business.
The Growth of Atlassian Stack
Going with the Subscription trend, the popular enterprise software company launched Atlassian Stack, (a new subscription service that puts together all of the self-hosted developer tools into a single offering). Starting at $186,875/ year for 1,000 licenses, this new bundle is meant to make the procurement process for enterprises easier and cheaper. At 1,000 licenses, the average price per user comes out to around $15.50/ month. For large enterprises that have more than 10K users on the platform, Atlassian dropped the price to $6.50 per user per month.
The Story of Adobe Systems
Adobe Systems transitioned from a product-sales business model to cloud-based subscription 5 years ago. At this time the prices on its creative suite package were ranging from $1,300 to $ 2,500. Many customers openly went against this idea of renting cloud-based versions. However, subscription to Adobe’s popular creative cloud software has powered a 44% increase in revenue since 2013.
The shift to the subscription economy is rapidly growing. Companies that aim to be ahead of its competitors and maintain long-term customer relationships must start planning their transformation. Afterall, a job well begun is half done.
According to the CEO of Zuora-Tien Tzuo, Subscription-based businesses are growing nine times faster than traditional businesses.
However, the percentage of the total economy that is on this model (Subscription based business) is still low.
For instance, Caterpillar is a company that is worth $50 billion, even if they are billing around $1 billion via subscription business, it will sum up to only 2% of the company.
It is the same when it comes to cars, according to Mckinsey, $1.5 trillion of value will be created by connected devices/connected car services and this is where all the focus is over the next decade. Interestingly, this is just 10 percent of the entire car industry.
Now that we know the potential of this business model, let’s take a look at what can be expected from the subscription economy over the next several years:
Increased Personalization via Data
One of the best things about subscriptions is that you get to use products without having to buy it, and because businesses can track your product/services usage pattern, they will be able to offer you a more personalized version of that service at a much lower price than it would be to buy the entire package.
With the help of modern analytical tools, companies can understand your preferences and this allows them to send you more relevant and helpful content around that particular product or suggest new products that are similar to the one you already have.
Capitalizing on data to drive additional revenue streams
One of the critical factors accelerating the adoption of subscription models is the data generated from subscriptions. As companies realize the potential of this rich data, they will have to start evaluating “how” and “where” the subscription services can be applied.
Data is a priceless asset for companies operating on a subscription model, it enables them to streamline their services and identify new areas of activity and thereby increase revenue.
The next big thing for future growth is to capitalize on the established subscriber relationship through experimentation with pricing.
As per the bi-annual Subscription Economy Index (SEI), Usage-based billing will be the growth accelerant. For instance, the metered use on the NYT (New York Times)website, where, you pay based on how much you read.
All the companies that have at least ten percent of their revenue coming through usage-based model will witness growth rates that are almost twice as high as their competitors. This is a big opportunity to amplify revenue and increase future subscriber growth.
Of course, the success of a company embracing this model will depend on its ability to gather data, analyze it and make business decisions based on its analysis.
With rapidly evolving smart subscription technologies, businesses can certainly achieve exponential growth in the future.
The shift to the subscription economy is rapidly growing. Companies that want to become industry leaders and maintain long-term customer relationships, must start planning their transformation today.
Is your software enterprise ready? Here are 8 must-haves before you can start selling to an enterprise customer.
Modern User Interface
Enterprise software has this notorious distinction of being difficult to use and is still stuck in the nineties. Employees are increasingly exposed to consumer-grade software and are demanding similar ease of use from software at work.
Over the years, designer to developer ratio has constantly improved. LinkedIn reports a ratio of 1 designer for every 8 developers; whereas Dropbox has 1 designer for every 6 developers.
Nobody likes remembering yet another username and password. There are several single-sign-on solutions, and which one you choose depends on the type of enterprise you target.
Most enterprises have an active directory to manage users, so the least you can do is integrate with LDAP / Active Directory. More savvy organizations have SAML. Java-based enterprises use JASIG CAS. Finally, more modern organizations use OAuth based solutions.
Enterprise-grade applications require strong audit controls. At a minimum, your software should be able to answer “Who did what and when”. Wherever possible, try to capture the intent behind the action – i.e. why did the user make this change.
A nice to have feature is an excel or CSV dump of all audit events.
Role Based Access Control
Enterprises have complex team structures and require fine-grained access control. Your software must allow them to create roles and control permissions at an individual feature level.
Multiple Deployment Options
Enterprises are slow to adopt the cloud and like to be in control of their data. Your software should work well in an on-premise environment, behind the corporate firewall.
This means that you cannot depend on third-party REST APIs. If you are using AWS S3, you would need an on-premise equivalent service, otherwise, it would be difficult to sell to an enterprise customer.
Docker-based solutions are increasingly gaining in adoption within the enterprise, and are a good solution to supporting both on-premise and cloud models.
Enterprises have dozens of existing applications, and your software application needs to play well with these applications. The key to this is a well-defined API. It should be possible to totally bypass your user interface and work with the application directly via your provided APIs.
Reporting and Analytics
Your application needs to make it simple to create reports and dashboards. There are several off the shelf tools available for business intelligence, so building a user interface isn’t a differentiator. Instead, concentrate on building a data warehouse, so that enterprise customers can plug in any business intelligence tool.
Feature gates allow you to turn on or off features without redeploying. This gives you the ability to roll out features to only certain customers. Enterprise customers don’t want to test out incomplete or buggy features, and feature gates let you turn off the features without resorting to complex branching strategies.
Cloud has become a buzzword and to those who aren’t exposed to it, it remains a buzzword. The software has been into the business over decades now growing like a banyan tree, and at any point of time, there is always another new branch to it spreading out shade in the form of opportunities and growth.
Today deployment over the cloud is a day to day task. Thanks to all the leading cloud providers and the experts on the cloud who help software gain potential at a quick pace.
Having developed and deployed numerous applications on the cloud, here is a short guide on how you can get your product on the cloud in less than a day.
Choosing the right cloud provider
The cloud market today has various service providers offering great service at competent prices. You may have to spend a few hours identifying the right ones based on your needs. The choice of the cloud provider should depend on your tech stack, deployment strategy, and application usability.
Points to consider while choosing a cloud provider for your product
The first and the foremost aspect is to choose between IaaS, SaaS, PaaS. Your Product’s tech lead should be able to guide you with this
Next is to find if the cloud provider can offer the required database support
Cost is a crucial aspect and that is one of the main reasons why cloud technology even exists. Based on the requirement of the product, you need to choose the one that can provide reliable services at an efficient cost.
Hashedin being an advanced AWS partner has been using and providing professional support on AWS and its products for most of its customers. Heroku is also considered for quick and small-scale applications that need to go live immediately.
Launching a machine on the cloud server
After taking the right decision in choosing the cloud provider, the next task is to launch a machine in your cloud account. This task shouldn’t ideally take more than a couple of hours as the cloud is powered with great UI for launching and handling a server on the cloud. Your machine should be immediately up and run once launched.
While launching a machine consider the size, memory, operating system, cost, and scalability. A lot of your products’ performance would majorly depend on your machine’s configuration.
Installing necessary software on the server
As a one time task, your tech lead might want to install a few necessary software such as the web and/or application servers, frameworks, software etc.
This task should be straightforward like working on a development machine as cloud providers offer you great command line interfaces (CLI) to login to your machines and perform operations.
Build your product on the server
Once the setup as mentioned in the previous steps are complete, it’s time to build/deploy your application.
You should be able to transfer a version of your product from your revision control to the cloud machine and build it on the right path. Or, If you have a CI or a built distributable of the product you may move them to your web/app server’s location.
Launch your application
Now your product must be ready for launch, and just before you actually launch it, verify your database connections and external integrations if any. Once all of them are ready, it’s time to launch and serve it over the cloud for your users.
Your application should be served over a public IP on a specific port, in addition to this, your cloud server should allow you to map your custom domain from your cPanel account, enabling custom domain redirection.
All the above tasks should ideally consume less than a day in empowering the quick launch of software products without any hassle.
Also note, these steps help you quickly launch a product on the server assuming you have a standard level of product setup and integrations. In case your product demands additional integrations, it might consume more time depending on the integration and the cloud server.
Businesses of the present era are embracing the latest technologies to bring about a change to the way they work. We all know that Machine learning is transforming businesses in a big way. However, there are many small and medium-sized companies that have still not considered ML sighting business threats.
Google recently conducted a demonstration of its Google Assistant fixing an appointment with a popular hair salon and then making restaurant reservations with conversational clarity. It was not just inspiring, but also unbelievable.
This leads to the next question: if machines are learning this fast, how far behind are the modern day businesses at the moment, when it comes to capitalizing on the power of machine learning.
Smart apps are increasingly becoming a daily phenomenon, helping businesses make quick and accurate decisions. With over 70% of businesses investing in Big data, the role of machine learning is definitely going to increase in the coming years.
After seeing the success that Google has had with Machine learning, there are many other companies that are all in for embracing machine learning into their businesses.
Below mentioned are some of the ways Machine Learning is Transforming Businesses
Understand customers better
With automated processes in place, businesses have become more customer-centric. Companies have realized the fact that in order to sustain in this competitive market, they will have to really understand their customers better.
A proper understanding of your customers depends on how you study their behaviours. Some critical insights into their behaviour will help you in identifying their preferences.
Machine learning can help you gain insights into the customer behaviour in real-time. If you want to accelerate your success rate in business, you have to leverage the benefits of machine learning.
Although you cannot fully automate financial operations, machine learning can certainly help in supporting transactions and in reducing errors that require human input.
For instance, it is most likely that the financial audit will not be totally assigned to machines, as it depends on the human judgement and reasoning.
However, machines can be helpful in using certain patterns in data sets to bring out some potential areas of discrepancy. With the help of machine learning technologies, companies can sort out high volumes of data from the financial statements at a much faster pace than humans, and then convert the data into meaningful insights.
Shortlist right candidates
Corporate job openings pull in about 300 resumes at a go, and most of the experienced recruiters say that shortlisting qualified candidates is one of the most challenging tasks.
However, with machine learning capabilities, Recruitment managers do not have to dig through the applications manually from thousands of candidates to identify the best fit.
Instead, they can rely on machine learning capabilities and get intelligent recommendations on the candidates who would be the right fit for a given role. This way the hiring process becomes more efficient. This, in turn, benefits both the recruiters as well as the job seekers.
Boost marketing efforts
Your company’s marketing success depends on various factors. You will have to conduct an accurate research in order to build an effective branding strategy.
You need engaging content, a good understanding of behavioural economics and more importantly an extrasensory ability to understand how consumers will weigh your brand against your competitors.
Machine learning improves the marketing efforts by carrying out tasks such as customer segmentation, retrieving and categorizing relevant content, customer communication, and overall productivity.
On an average, companies lose 8-10% of their revenues annually to fraud. By building models based on historical transactions and other external sources of data, Machine learning algorithm applies the pattern recognition approach to detect exception and anomalies.
This helps in identifying and preventing suspicious or fraudulent transactions in real time. For instance, with the help of historical transaction data, banks can build algorithms, using which fraudulent behaviors can be detected.
Any suspicious pattern of payment or transfers between individuals can also be easy detected.
This type of algorithmic security can be applicable in many situations like cybersecurity or tax evasion.
Machine learning can certainly be useful in different areas, and companies should definitely consider investing in it.
Whether your company wants to implement AI to get actionable data insights or to carry out tasks that are too time-consuming for the average employees, the possibilities are endless.
At HashedIn, Django is used extensively. The Django ORM is great for most of the use cases, however, there are times when you just need to write a raw SQL query and bypass the ORM altogether. The most common use cases are reports and listing pages that need complex joins.
When you hit a 5% use case that requires the expressiveness and power of raw SQL query, it is unlikely that your query is a simple one-liner.
For those use cases, JinjaSQL helps you maintain the queries in an external template file. You can put in placeholder variables, add if/else conditions, use macros and all the power that is available to a regular Jinja template. You don’t have to manually track your bind parameters. It tracks them and binds them appropriately.
Prevention of the SQL Injection
As a matter of fact templates are not a new idea, however, they haven’t been popular because they are vulnerable to SQL Injection. JinjaSQL never inserts values directly into the query. Instead, it gives you the generated SQL query, and a list of bind parameters. It is then up to you to use them to execute the query.
Take a look at an example:
If this template is executed using plain-old Jinja2, you’d get :
With JinjaSQL, you get back two things,
and a list of bind parameters:
The list of bind parameters can be integers, strings, or for that matter even python datetime objects.
The freedom and flexibility to work on your own terms add to employees’ happiness. Technology and the internet have made work from home possible for many employees. This option not only eliminates the need for travel but also offers more flexibility.
Some companies still believe that employees are more productive in the office. A notion challenged by many companies today. Firms are going 100% remote with a distributed team. Even without a physical office, they achieve productivity and success.
The approach to building a successful remote team is simple. Companies hire the best candidates and provide a great work-life balance. They spend money on employees rather than the office space. The focus is on ensuring the team’s productivity.
Here are some popular companies that have embraced the remote working style.
Buffer has close to 80 employees working in different countries. Their social media management tool is very popular and used by over 60K paid customers. The company goes out of its way to bring out the feeling of equality and inclusiveness.
Buffer believes in transparency. Hence, they share their recruiting practice, salaries and revenue details on a transparency page. Moreover, employees at buffer enjoy many perks like unlimited vacation and annual retreats. Image Credit: Buffer
Automattic is one of the most popular brands on the market. They have products like WordPress, Gravatar, Simplenote, and Longreads under their belt. The employees of Automattic can work from anywhere they want. At present, the team is 500+ strong with employees across the globe. So, how do they manage remote teams?
To work across different time zones, the company uses slack. The management of Automattic looks for applicants with strong writing and communication skills. This is the key to their success even when it comes to the support they offer.
To check for writing skills, even the interview process is text chat based. Employees enjoy annual retreats, co-working allowances, paid sabbaticals and an open vacation policy. Image Credit: Automattic
Gitlab is a code collaboration platform that built for the enterprise. Programmers across the globe use the platform. Gitlab is a 100 percent remote company with staff located across 3 continents.
Their remote working policies are pretty interesting. The employees can work from anywhere they want. This saves time for commute and gives employees the freedom to be with their loved ones.
The company encourages the employees to use various chat tools to communicate. For meetings, they use apps like the hangout. Image Credit: Gitlab
Invision is a design collaboration and prototyping platform. Popular companies such as Airbnb and Adobe use the platform. The Invision team has the freedom to design and test products from anywhere.
They have around 220 employees working in 14 countries. Invision’s CEO believes that it is important to give employees the freedom to work on their own terms. Something that’s not possible with a traditional desk job.
The company places more emphasis on outcomes rather than the physical presence in the office. Employees get medical insurance, free gym membership, travel allowance and unlimited Starbucks drinks.
It is an automation tool, which connects your favorite web apps such as slack and Gmail. This company currently has around 80 employees working from 13+ countries. The company is fully distributed without any headquarters. Employees enjoy the flexibility.
The company saves on cost for office space. The employees can also cut down on their travel expenses. Zapier believes that people are more productive in a remote setting than in the office.
Slack connects the employees of Zapier. Zoom helps in video calls. Hackpad makes their documentation easy. Employees also enjoy profit sharing, medical coverage, annual retreats and unlimited vacation. Image Credit: Zapier
Trello is a popular project management platform. It has 19+ million users including brands like National Geographic and Google.
Two-third of the Trello team works remotely. The key to their success is seamless communication. Most employees connect with each other via video conference. The company has taken promote to a healthy collaborative work culture.
They have an optional weekly event that encourages employees to network. Every week, four employees receive an invite to meet and talk for 30 mins about anything.
These initiatives help employees connect with each another, outside of work. Additionally, employees are also given perks and incentives on a regular basis to keep them going strong at work. Image Credit: Trello
Github is a platform where users get to collaborate on or adopt open source code projects. The work culture is different here. You can work from anywhere, at any time.
As there is no solid structure, formal meetings hardly happen. Employees use online communicators to interact. Most of the work gets done online. Github enjoys many benefits with a remote workforce
Hiring – Github believes that if you need the best talent, then restricting yourself to the talent in a single city is like shooting yourself in the foot. Diversity – With a team aligned to company culture and values, you can tackle any challenge. Productivity – Remote teams can effectively utilize their day and communicate with coworkers. Employees have greater focus when they are not exhausted from energy draining commutes. Image Credit: Github
These companies have managed to a strike it off well and hence, are successful. Company culture evolves over a period of time, and the way remote work fits into that has to evolve as well.
Companies must view it as a continual investment. Remote working may not suit all companies. For companies who can adopt this model, it is a sure shot way to offer flexibility and work-life balance.
Digitization plays a crucial role in automotive manufacturing. It equips the interior suppliers with necessary tools and helps them remain flexible and relevant in this modern era. With an increase in customer demand for value-added vehicles, the automotive suppliers are facing an immense pressure in coping up with the changing preferences and requirements, while remaining operational and profitable. Digitization in automotive manufacturing has made companies improve their competitiveness while setting a strong foundation for the future growth in a steadily evolving manufacturing landscape.
Digitized technologies in the manufacturing sector are transforming every department in the automotive manufacturing value chain, from product innovation to sales and services. The quick growth of data analytics and an increase in the use of the IoT enabled digital connectivity is bridging a connection between a company’s management and operations with consumers.
With the emergence of predictive analytics and cloud computing, the industrial manufacturing is moving towards a world of smart connectivity supported by highly disruptive technologies. On the IoT, the cyber-systems communicate with the connected production solutions in real-time. However, for businesses to stay ahead of its competitors, they will have to look beyond owning technologies and gear up for transformational changes.
The Importance of having a Digital Mindset
To attain operational excellence and strategic transformations, many industry leaders are transforming their business operations by looking beyond new technologies. This involves a change of mindset, a restructured business model, and a revamped ecosystem strategy. It is always good to start off with the customer, by offering them new services. Developing a relationship with customers is really the first building block. Then, there is a need for a genuine leadership team.
The awareness of management regarding new technology and its impact to the business model has to be high, therefore a lot of time and effort has to be invested in bringing this out to the new environment, not just from a technological point of view, but also with the collateral impacts of these technologies.
Even though these prerequisites require careful planning, all the companies that are aspiring to grow rapidly must act now. Technological transformations will continue to happen, however, one will have to prepare for them right away.
Opportunities in Vehicle Interiors
At present, the manufacturers of vehicle interiors are aiming to bring down their production costs and maintain the operational performance. Vehicle interior manufacturers are also striving to improve their processes. Digital manufacturing meets a lot of these challenges. By efficiently capitalizing on the power of digital technologies, the interior manufacturers can increase their productivity, bring down machine downtime and shorten the time to market. In the long run, the adoption of digitized manufacturing can also mean helping suppliers compete on a completely different level.
Analytics and apps will also play an important role in the development of services. Typically the OEM vehicle R&D programme is generally a 7-year programme. With the emergence of software, programmes now take less than 3 years.
Technologies for Industry 4.0
Today’s industrial manufacturing for most of the part remains unchanged. It aims to bring economies of scale linked to product manufacturing by increasing the volume of products that are manufactured, thereby bringing down the unit costs. The automotive industry works in a similar manner, with suppliers highly focused on optimizing the costs of products, rather than optimizing the capital that is essential to manufacture them.
In the present era, the automated and standardized digital processes can effectively absorb the cost of complexities involved in supply chain and procurement of raw materials. Leaders in the automotive industry are now deploying digital technologies to drive value. A good number of Tier 1 suppliers are relying on data analytics to optimize plant operations and enhance product quality.
Smart, digitized production solutions are effectively processing data to manage the inventory, while the premium management tools for supply-network are now enabling a clear view of the flow of raw materials and manufactured parts, standardizing the plant operations and reducing costs.
IoT in the Vehicle Interior Segment
The popular technology solutions manufacturer Lectra has set a benchmark in smart, connected cutting room equipment. Lectra’s VectorAuto fabric cutting solution has completely redefined the boundaries for speed and quality. At present, Vector has more than 175 embedded sensors for implementing preventive maintenance. Vectors that are set up worldwide, communicate in real time with Lectra’s call centers, where experts can intervene remotely. Some years ago, Lectra introduced the leather cutting technology for the auto industry with VersalisAuto. With this incredible solution, the company launched one of the finest digital leather-cutting solutions on the market, by delivering the best-in-class quality. It was specially designed to cut leather without compromising on the productivity, VersalisAuto has one of the finest automated nesting systems for overall improvements in efficiency. Technology has been constantly evolving. Automotive firms that embrace the digital technology head-on to deliver solutions for its customers stand to reap dividends. Organizations who are reluctant will surely become irrelevant.
HashedIn has helped many automotive firms by building applications to give the users a completely hassle-free experience. Kindly let us know if you have any specific problem/use case, where we can provide more information or consult you.
The growth of the connected car industry provides a good number of challenges as well as opportunities for the automotive sector. The biggest challenge being data management. Connected cars are now increasingly streaming data from telematics systems into the cloud. The key to utilizing this huge chunk of data wisely depends on the data analytics and predictive analytics.
Here are some of the ways as to how predictive automotive data analytics will drive the rapidly growing connected car industry.
Predictive maintenance aims to clearly identify vehicle maintenance issues before they occur. By extracting data from repairs with vehicle sensor data, predictive data analytics can find some useful correlations that would be hard for humans to identify.
A performance inconsistency that may appear irrelevant when observed on a single car can be a red flag when it is aggregated with data from millions of other vehicles having similar issues. The modern-day analytical applications can extract relevant data from pretty much every vehicle of a given year or model and compare that with the warranty repair trends.
As predictive analytics has access to larger datasets, the automakers can help your connected vehicle in spending more time on the road and less time in the shop.
Predictive Collision Avoidance
One of the best examples of a PDA (predictive collision avoidance) system is the predictive forward collision warning feature developed by Nissan.
With the help of advanced sensors, big data and vehicle to vehicle connectivity, predictive analytics technology may one day make auto accidents a things of the past.
By using sensors on the front of the vehicle, the system will be able to analyze the speed as well as the distance of the vehicle traveling ahead of Nissan and that of the next preceding vehicle, which is generally outside the driver’s field of view.
When either of the preceding 2 vehicles behaves in a manner that could force Nissan driver to brake abruptly, the system alerts the driver with a visual alert and audible signal. A signal is also sent to temporarily lock the seat belts in case of impact.
Nissan’s noble effort represents the most fundamental example of a predictive collision avoidance system. As modern-day developers create apps that enhance communication between connected vehicles, more complex and effective collision avoidance systems will emerge based on the predicting driver behavior.
Apart from managing their products, one could agree that the most important thing the automakers do is to attract new customers. Failure, here, means a decline in market share or worse.
Old marketing strategies have kept most car makers afloat, however, TV or print media are losing their effectiveness as an advertising medium, as the audience size has been steadily declining.
Today, every penny that an automaker spends on advertising has to go further than ever, and the increasing need for nurturing repeat business cannot be overstated.
Predictive analytics is ideal for assisting the automotive industry in tackling these marketing challenges. With the help of big data and predictive analytics, the modern day applications can accurately identify and classify the segment of people that are interested in buying a car.
Complex algorithms take into consideration some factors such as the total number of repairs on the current vehicle, the mileage, and information collected from social media to recognize potential buyers.
Developers who can integrate predictive analytics with CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platforms can help dealers in delivering highly-targeted advertisements to interested buyers.
Data Management of Connected Cars
All the analytic applications that are exclusively made for connected cars, in a way represent examples of data management.
Whether it is about using predictive data for improving the effectiveness of marketing, maintenance, security or other activities that are related to the connected vehicle industry, the data has to be managed in a way that makes it helpful for the intended purpose. However, there is still a need to manage the data from connected vehicles.
The need will become more visible as more onboard applications receive and send data through the net. Considering that each connected vehicle generates around 25 GB/hour and that more than 250 million connected vehicles are expected to be on the road by 2020, clearly, there is a big problem ahead.
Even with low cost – cloud storage, simply storing such huge amounts of data, even in the cloud is not an option. Moreover, there isn’t a data plan at present that can handle the required bandwidth without impacting drivers’ wallets in a big way.
The solution to the data glut is to implement intelligent data management solutions that can effectively manage data both in the car as well as in the cloud. Only by employing the predictive analysis, and probably deep learning, can the big data of connected cars be managed efficiently.
Whether solutions are developed as stand-alone applications or if they are integrated into multiple platforms, the market potential is huge for developers who can excel in this area.
By intelligent analysis of data streams to and from connected vehicles, the data management applications will permit only the required data to be exchanged, and only when it can be used.
Instead of analyzing the stored data, effective solutions will manage data in real time, making effective use of the connected car resources.