With the Internet of Things (IoT), success doesn’t come just from connecting devices. It’s equally important to connect people.
IoT’s big promise is enabling new, deep, actionable insights into every aspect of your business: people, processes, buildings, equipment and vehicles, to name just a few. But it can’t deliver on that digital transformation promise if only some departments participate.
Achieving Alignment Among Departments
To overcome that challenge, businesses need to convince departments to break out of their silos and work with one another to achieve the organization’s digital transformation goals. That means the digital transformation process has to start with a person or group pitching IoT initiatives to their colleagues to get organizationwide buy-in.
Typically, digital transformation is not led by the IT team. Instead, once enough departments have signed on to a transformative business initiative, IT is brought in to play the role of enabler. Increasingly, the IT team turns to a digital transformation and IoT expert such as CDW to validate the transformative business initiative. Through an Envisioning Workshop, a structured methodology is used to identify the technology options, align business processes and to mediate cultural differences — in other words, enabling the enabler.
Enabling Multiple Departments to Make Informed Businesses Decisions
One recent example is a large global manufacturer that brought in CDW and its longtime partner, Cisco, to help accelerate their digital transformation initiative at their factories. The manufacturer wanted to leverage Cisco’s Kinetic platform to analyze and improve energy usage in its factories and processes. Its goals included a 20 percent energy savings at each plant, and an overall efficiency improvement of 15 to 20 percent.
To achieve their business goals, the line of business, plant operations and the IT department had to be tightly aligned. The departments worked together to identify what devices within the factory should be monitored and what data should be collected to meet their goals. The departments then decided on what the key metrics were and how they were going to baseline the manufacturing lines performance.
The success of this project was dependent on each department’s ability to work together to integrate the Cisco Industrial solution into their factory and to gather the key data metrics to allow them to track energy consumption and equipment efficiencies. While IT was the enabler, the other departments provided valuable business insights into the manufacturing processes and operations that were critical to the success of the project.
Driving Savings and Efficiencies
In today’s era of just-in-time manufacturing, digital initiatives focused on energy savings and equipment efficiencies are top of mind for manufacturers. Understanding and controlling energy cost for manufacturing products can help maximize profits. When combined with equipment efficiency metrics, a manufacturer can determine which products are more profitable to make and which factories are the best suited to make that product.
This is just one example of how IoT solutions can benefit just about every department. The opportunities are limitless with IoT.
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