How to choose the right partner for industrial digital transformation

Organizations in the industrial sector are under considerable pressure to change. Advances in connectivity, data generation and analysis, and computer power are forcing businesses to rethink their processes and accelerate go-to-market strategies through industrial digital transformation.

Change is never easy, especially in a space that traditionally has been slow to adapt to new technologies and methodologies. When something is working, there is a natural reluctance to change it. However, currently there are compelling opportunities to digitize, automate, and connect existing equipment and solutions in industrial environments. Organizations that leverage Industry 4.0 technologies stand to gain new levels of agility and resiliency that aren’t possible with legacy supply chain and production systems.

Because digital transformation and industrial automation require skills and expertise that most companies lack, the companies need help from expert partners. Fortunately, help is available from technology suppliers and service partners so you can achieve your digitization goals and maximize value from your technology investments.


Choosing a partner for industrial digital transformation

In choosing an industrial automation partner, start by identifying companies that deliver digital expertise combined with an understanding of the equipment and infrastructure already in place. Industrial digital transformation involves more than ripping and replacing production and supply chain processes. In many cases, equipment already in place needs to be upgraded to support automation and digitalization – not replaced.

This is what the convergence of IT with operational technology (OT) is about. Analog technologies that run operations in factories and other industrial environments are now being connected to digital systems for monitoring, data collection and analysis. Convergence makes it possible to leverage Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-enabled plant and machine architectures that enable analytics and connected solutions. These technologies help you achieve new levels of agility, efficiency, and productivity by turning data insights into strategic business decisions.

With that in mind, you need a partner experienced in both IT and operational technology, and who understands the ramifications of blending production-side equipment and applications with newer digital functionality. A crucial aspect of this revolves around cybersecurity and compliance with privacy and security regulations. IT/OT convergence potentially exposes the OT side to cyber threats that it has not faced before. Your partner must be aware of these risks, their potential impact, and how to address them effectively.

Your industrial automation partner, whether a distributor, system integrator, or panel builder, must also understand your business. The ideal partner takes the time to learn your operations to help you meet your challenges and achieve strategic goals, such as implementing plant automation and improving supply chain management

Post-implementation, you may want your partner to stay involved. Through connected systems, a partner can monitor your equipment for troubleshooting and maintenance purposes to optimize performance, avoid downtime, and protect your operations from cyber risks.

Strong ecosystem for industrial digital transformation

When selecting a partner, remember that no single company can deliver all technologies and services. The ideal partner is a member of a strong ecosystem of vendors, OEMs, system integrators and service providers who, together, deliver a value chain of products and services to drive digital transformation success.

Our partnerships with Schneider Electric and other vendors are essential to guiding you up the Industry 4.0 mountain. We recognize the journey can be long and complex, but the view makes it all worthwhile, so let us be your Sherpa on your path to success.


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