Data center

Data is the Foundation for Digital Transformation

June 7, 2022
A Schneider Electric breakfast panel at the ARC Conference sees a need for more collaboration and fewer information silos.

READ MORE: Human Intelligence Still Comes First

With all the talk of artificial intelligence and digital twins and other technologies driving the digital transformation in manufacturing, the foundation is built around data.

“To me, data is the foundation. The data today is largely in silos There’s even different versions of the data within the enterprise. Everyone going to have to make a series of trade-offs from conceptual design to operational design,” said Harpreet Gulati, SVP of planning and business for AVEVA at a breakfast presented by Schneider Electric June 7 at the 2022 ARC Advisory Group Conference in Orlando.

The opportunity to build a digital-first manufacturing plant don’t come along every day, said Nathalie Marcotte, SVP and president of process automation at Schneider Electric. “If you go into a new site, you go with digital from the get-go,” she said. “If you have any existing operation, how do you implement a digital solution? We’re all looking for digital solutions to be more resilient.”

“Collaboration is needed across the enterprise,” said Gulati.

Noting the variety of pressures on manufacturing over the past three years, Craig Resnick, VP of consultancy for ARC Advisory Group, said the need to look past those challenges to the opportunities beyond was critical. “There’s never been a more important time to accelerate the digital transformation,” Resnick told the more than 100 attendees at the breakfast. “We don’t have a technology issue; we have an implementation issue.”

The annual ARC Conference features process automation solutions across all aspects of digitization, including data management, cybersecurity and the IT/OT convergence. Gulati said today’s technology is only part of the ultimate solution.

“With the technology of today, we can get about 70% of the way there,” he said. “The last 30% will require more innovation. There’s a lot of innovation that going to happen. It’s going to have to be enabled.”

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