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Mining Information to Gain a Competitive Edge

May 2, 2016
Manufacturers must adapt their classic data management approaches to master a differentiated information value chain.

New technologies, which include with cloud, mobility, big data and analytics, social business, and innovation accelerators, (such as the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, robotics, and cognitive computing) can provide unlimited avenues to access information for the manufacturing sector

A new report from IDC Manufacturing Insights, “IDC MaturityScape: Information Digital Transformation in Manufacturing,” provides a framework for identifying the stages, critical measures, outcomes, and actions required for IT organizations to effectively evolve to information transformation as a critical enabler of digital transformation for their enterprise.

"Manufacturers are investing in some of the tools they will need to leverage information and knowledge as critical business assets,” explained Kimberly Knickle, vice president of IDC Manufacturing Insights, IT Priorities & Strategies.

“But to yield the greatest benefits, manufacturers must do more than just invest in tools; they must undergo an information transformation," concluded Knickle.

The report recommends that given information transformation is a critical component of manufacturers' overall digital business transformation, companies. act quickly to capitalize on the value of information that is and will become available to them. One way to do this is to “solidifying a road map to maximize information's contribution to the business' success”, the report says.  One particular advantage of the wealth of information available is to use it to predict business decisions.

 “To gain competitive advantage and become increasingly customer centric, manufacturers must adapt their classic data management approaches to master a differentiated information value chain,” Knickle said.

IDC recommends leaders focus on the following dimensions and their sub-dimensions when evaluating their information transformation maturity:

  • Data discovery -- Acquisition and preparation, exploration, visualization, and datafication
  • Value development-- Analytics, algorithms, program management, and quality
  • Value realization-- Monetization, productization, real-time orchestration, and service innovation
  • Knowledge and collaboration-- Work virtualization, knowledge and integration, governance, and risk
  • Information architecture-- Data management and enterprise information model, integration and synchronization, IA services, and security

IDC Manufacturing Insights notes, the promise of information transformation seems so large that it's tempting to attack on every front and hope to have some success by the rule of numbers. However, in this case, doing everything at once is not the appropriate way. Having a game plan to achieve some initial success or risk modest failure, learn from either scenario, and then expand, is far more likely to deliver sustainable success.