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A New Study by PWC Strategy& on Digital Champions in Operations

Strategy&, the strategy division of PWC has published recently a new global study “Global Digital Operations Study 2018 – Digital Champions”. This new study is focused on understanding how companies and their leaders have built an integrated ecosystem to provide value to customers based on end-to-end solutions. The study is focused on the industrial sector but can provide inspiration and guidelines to many other business sectors.

The integrated digital industrial concept, named Industry 4.0 (or Industrie 4.0 in Germany, one of the leading countries that promote this concept,) deals with the adoption of digital technologies and how they affect the processes and products in the industrial sector. As we can see, these technologies have a profound impact on all the related processes – product design, supply chain, production and operation processes, customer delivery, accounting, and invoicing processes. The digital technologies are now embedded directly into the product, augmenting it into a physical-digital product. These technologies are the foundation for new innovative business models.

We are now in the stage of transforming from the Digital 3.0, which was focused mainly on automation and the single machine view, to the Industry 4.0 concept which has a much broader view, a systemic view. Industry 4.0 is focused on digitalization of end-to-end processes, integrating the different parts of the human and machine automation, data collection from all the processes, and using that data to support real-time decision processes while providing new and exciting customer experiences. Industry 4.0 is the realization of the digital transformation of the industrial sector.

Industry 4.0 requires deep collaboration between all the stakeholders, executive management commitment, a clear business strategy for the digital era, and more. Companies that don’t understand this deep paradigm shift will, probably, face the risk of disruption.

For the study, PWC Strategy& experts have interviewed and met 1,100 executive managers of leading industrial global companies. The study was focused on understanding their point of view on the Industry 4.0 concept and implementation. One of the main findings of the study was that there are quite a few companies that have fully adopted and implemented the Industry 4.0 concept. They deserve the title of Digital Champions. The study found that the Digital Champions excel in four categories: Customer Solutions; Operations; Technology; People. They have successfully developed four ecosystems to support each of those areas.

The link to this interesting study.

In our e-book “Doing Digital”, published on the E-vrit application (desktop and mobile), we refer in Chapter 8, paragraph 8.2, to the seven sectors that most probably will face disruption in the coming years. We quote a previous PWC Strategy& study, named “Seven Surprising Disruptions” and present the industrial sector as a candidate for disruption if companies will not adopt the Industry 4.0 concept. Leading industrial companies like Philips, Siemens, GE, and others have already adopted that concept.

To our book: Doing Digital

We recommend all industrial companies to start their digital transformation as soon as possible. If not, they are taking the risk of being disrupted and being too late to recover.

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