‘Rethink Data’ Report Reveals That 68% Of Data Available To Businesses Goes Unleveraged

I first started hearing seriously about data ops last year at a couple of IT conferences. Then a group of former Kepware executives founded High Byte to point data ops specifically to the manufacturing industry. I told them I thought they had something there.

A representative of Seagate Technology sent me information about a study done with IDC about data in organizations. I haven’t had a relationship with Seagate for many years, but this is a timely report about enterprise data pointing out that 68% of data available goes unleveraged and that manufacturing is a laggard in this arena.

As enterprise data proliferates at an unprecedented pace – set to grow at a 42.2.% annual rate over the next two years – a new report from Seagate and IDC has revealed that the majority (68%) of data available to enterprises goes unleveraged, meaning data management has become more important than ever. 

Furthermore and somewhat surprisingly, the manufacturing sector shows the lowest level of task automation in data management, lowest rate for full integration of data management functions as well as low adoption of both multicloud and hybrid cloud infrastructures. 

The report also identifies the missing link of data management—DataOps—which can help organizations harness more of their data’s value and lead to better business outcomes.

The report, Rethink Data: Put More of Your Data to Work—From Edge to Cloud is based on a survey of 1500 global enterprise leaders commissioned by Seagate and conducted by the research firm IDC.

“The report and the survey make clear that winning businesses must have strong mass data operations,” says Seagate CEO Dave Mosley. “The value that a company derives from data directly affects its success.”

Some additional findings include:

  • The top five barriers to putting data to work are: 1) making collected data usable, 2) managing the storage of collected data, 3) ensuring that needed data is collected, 4) ensuring the security of collected data, and 5) making the different silos of collected data available.
  • Managing data in the multicloud and hybrid cloud are top data management challenges expected by businesses over the next two years.
  • Two thirds of survey respondents report insufficient data security, making data security an essential element of any discussion of efficient data management.

The missing link of data management is reported to be data operations, or DataOps. IDC defines DataOps as “the discipline connecting data creators with data consumers.” While the majority of respondents say that DataOps is “very” or “extremely” important, only 10% of organizations report having implemented DataOps fully. The survey demonstrated that, along with other data management solutions, DataOps leads to measurably better business outcomes. It boosts customer loyalty, revenue, profit, cost savings, plus results in other benefits.

“The findings of this study illustrating that more than two-thirds of available data lies fallow in organizations may seem like disturbing news,” said Phil Goodwin, research director, IDC and principal analyst on the study. “But in truth, it shows how much opportunity and potential organizations already have at their fingertips. Organizations that can harness the value of their data wherever it resides—core, cloud or edge—can generate significant competitive advantage in the marketplace.”

Virtual Trade Show and Conference

This week I am attending the Festo Virtual Trade Show and Conference . The website provider is the same one as the Danish company I “toured” last week. It is similar to a concept I saw 20 years ago, but modern technology and design have made the experience very good.

I sat in a couple of conference sessions deepening my understanding of the latest in pneumatics and digitization. The discussion of digitizing and motion was good showing examples from OEE and energy savings. I am not a fan of OEE, but many companies seem fixated on it. It is a number–but I learned how the sausage was made 30 years ago and I remain unconvinced of its real utility. However, if you can digitize to calculate OEE, then you have data you could use in better ways for decision making.

I also learned about applications in process and water treatment.

The metaphor is a trade show lobby with doors for the auditorium for conference sessions, the show floor, information booth. Entering the show floor, there are a number of icons representing booths. Click on a booth and you can choose from short video demonstrations, downloadable papers, and product overviews.

You can attend yet today. It’s worth a look to see what perhaps may be a chunk of the future. I miss the energy and serendipity of live events. But this is an efficient way to collect information saving both the exhibitor and me great expense.

Podcast Passion for Teaching Thinking

Maurice Ashley immigrated to a tough part of New York City from Jamaica and later worked diligently to become the first African-American chess grandmaster. Later, he became a teacher of chess to inner city youth. His passion for teaching shines strongly in his interview with Tim Ferriss. I listen to almost an hour of podcasts a day while I workout. Another of my favorites is Wednesday with Seth Godin on Akimbo. Recently quoting Nobel-prize winning physicist Richard Feynman as saying I don’t understand people now. They just want answers given to them. They cannot think things through. Seth also tells of an experience with straight-A students where he showed them a gadget and asked them to explain how it worked. They couldn’t. They all just got out notebooks and pens ready to write down the answer. I riff off these for my latest Podcast.

White Paper Discusses Digital Transformation in Industry

Guidance to help organizations achieve better businesses outcomes

White papers can be an excellent learning tool. I’ve told marketing people for years that they should write these instead of all the overtly sales-y stuff they put out. Build trust and a sense of expertise by publishing documents that teach. It’s a bit like my sales “technique” back in the day. Here is a new one adding to the library of Digital Transformation.

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) has published the Digital Transformation in Industry White Paper. This new white paper focuses on digital transformation in industry and the role innovation processes play in it. It also covers the disruptive technologies that transform the way companies operate, service and maintain equipment. The white paper is designed as a guide that business managers, technology managers and risk, security and safety managers can use to develop business models, leverage key technologies and determine the level of trustworthiness they will need as they begin their digital transformation journey.

“Digital Transformation is the next disruptive wave hitting industry. With this publication, we have described the key technologies that underpin digital transformation and the first steps for any enterprise looking to deploy them,” said Jim Morrish, Founding Partner of Transforma Insights and Co-chair of the IIC Digital Transformation Working Group.

Digital transformation initiatives fall into three categories:

  • New business models – entails an enterprise transforming to offer a substantially changed service to technology users, often associated with new ways of charging for services
  • Enterprise operations – focuses primarily on increasing the efficiency (or reducing the cost, or risk) of providing products and services to technology users
  • Customer experience – focuses on changing the customer experience in absence of other changes. These projects tend to center on generating new service revenues or providing new services to customers, particularly field services.

“Digital transformation is a business strategy with the objective to improve business and industrial models and create new ones. This is achieved through the innovative and principled application of digital technologies along with business and organizational realignment,” said Bassam Zarkout, Founder of IGnPower and Co-chair of the IIC Digital Transformation Working Group. “Digital transformation is not a project. It is strategy led by a vision and powered by a committed program, which may involve multiple IIoT projects.”

The white paper covers a wide range of technologies that can enable digital transformation, such as:

  • Edge Technology
  • Hyper Connectivity
  • Data Security
  • Artificial Intelligence and Analytics
  • Digital Twin
  • Distributed Ledger
  • Human-Machine Interface
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Data Sharing
  • IIoT
  • Autonomous Robotic Systems
  • Innovation at the IT/OT Boundary
  • Micropower Generation–Energy Harvesting
  • Servitization
  • Technical Platforms for New Business Models and Payment Methods

Trustworthiness of systems is a key element of a digital transformation strategy; a lack of trustworthiness may place an organization at a disadvantage vis-à-vis its competitors and can have dire consequences. This could include human injury or worse, interruption of critical infrastructure, unintended disclosure of sensitive data, destruction of equipment, economic loss and reputational damage.

Overinvesting in trustworthiness, can on the other hand increase capital and maintenance costs, reduce flexibility and functionality and introduce cumbersome processes. “Companies embarking on digital transformation must weigh the risks and benefits of both underinvesting or overinvesting in trustworthiness,” added Morrish.

The IIC members who wrote the Digital Transformation in Industry White Paper include: Jim Morrish, Transforma Insights; Bassam Zarkout, IGnPower Inc.; Marcellus Buchheit, Wibu-Systems; Alex Ferraro, PwC; Chaisung Lim, Korea Industry 4.0 Association and Shi-Wan Lin, Yo-i Information Technology.

Also offered is a free IIC Webinar, “Digital Transformation – The Next Disruptive Wave Across Industries,” which runs on September 15, 2020 at 11am EDT, 8am PDT, 1700 CEST.

The Industrial Internet Consortium is a membership program transforming business and society by accelerating the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). The IIC delivers a trustworthy IIoT in which the world’s systems and devices are securely connected and controlled to deliver transformational outcomes. The Industrial Internet Consortium is a program of the Object Management Group (OMG).

The Cobot “Virtual” Expo

Organizations and companies have been exploring how to do a virtual trade show for more than 20 years. I can remember the early efforts…and shudder. However, we now have a “witch’s brew” of pandemic, increasing bandwidth, improved interactive graphics, browser advances such as HTML 5 and more which have coalesced into a good user experience. If they could replicate the hallway conversations and chance meetings, perhaps some travel could be eliminated. But I still prefer being there.

Yesterday robot industry veteran Joe Campbell, who is now sr. manager of applications development with Universal Robots, gave me a tour of the UR Cobot Expo. It is officially concluded, but you can still visit everything except for the chat functions for the next 30 days. And the expo is pretty cool. Pandemic restrictions have forced creativity upon marketers and designers, and most of the events I have attended have been well worth the time. Certainly this one is if you have any interest in exploring this technology area at all.

“The Cobot Expo” offers American manufacturers flexible automation solutions with a rich experience with an extensive range of product news and demonstrations, featuring more than 30 different booths, insightful keynotes, interactive QAs, and live chats with automation experts (these latter are not active now).

As I’ve written before, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that resilient businesses—those that can emerge with plans for growth—can react quickly and decisively to protect workers while keeping business running, adapting processes and product lines, with many manufacturers now increasingly using collaborative robots to make those changes efficiently and cost-effectively.

“The crisis has accelerated the need for flexible automation,” says Campbell. “We’re seeing an uptick in interest for collaborative robots due to social distancing requirements, reshoring to avoid long supply chains, and the need for rapid production line change-overs. The Cobot Expo is a timely opportunity to showcase and discuss how cobots can play a pivotal role in helping manufacturers successfully navigate the pandemic.”

The Cobot Expo is free to attend and is open for anyone with an interest in collaborative robotics (on demand only now). Attendees are invited to visit booths that feature new insights and resources on the most common cobot applications such as machine tending, packaging and palletizing, product inspection, assembly, welding, dispensing, and finishing. Joining this lineup is ActiNav, the world’s first autonomous bin picking kit for machine tending launched by Universal Robots this spring.

For expo visitors wondering how to get started with collaborative robots, numerous keynotes with live QAs will offer insights on critical topics such as how to identify good projects, choosing the right cobot model and peripherals, conducting risk assessment, whether to take a DIY approach or go with an integrator, and much more. The agenda also has presentations on cobot maintenance and programming and the many new ways cobots are quickly being deployed to address the COVID-19 crisis, including area disinfection, the manufacturing of test kits, face shields and ventilators, and in the handling of COVID-19 tests, protecting hospital staff from exposure.

The Cobot Expo is also an opportunity to meet the many UR+ partners presenting the industry’s largest and most comprehensive ecosystem of new products certified to integrate seamlessly with the UR cobots. The rapidly expanding UR+ platform now includes over 250 UR+ components and application kits with more than 400 approved commercial developer companies in the UR+ program.

The UR+ partner booths include: ATI Industrial Automation, Energid, Flexibowl, Flexxbotics, Hexagon, Mircopsi/Nvidia, New Scale Robotics, OnRobot, Piab, Robotiq, Schmalz, Schunk, SMC, Vectis, Vention, VersaBuilt, Visumatic, Wiretank, and Zimmer.

Alongside the UR+ partners will be booths hosted by Association for Advancing Automation (A3) and OEM partners showcasing products powered by UR cobots. The OEM partners include: Columbia Okura/Rocketfarm, Computech, Hirebotics, IRIS, Melton Machine, ONExia, and ProCobots/Easy Robotics.

“With tradeshows and conferences cancelled, we are experiencing phenomenal interest from all industry stakeholders in participating in the Cobot Expo,” says Campbell. “This truly is an extraordinary opportunity for an extraordinary time.”

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