Digital shift, data and integrated systems

By Yanic Ménard

A company’s digital technologies are often acquired based on specific needs, regardless of the ability to integrate them with technologies that are already in place.

Thus, the needs are dictated by the stakeholders and future users who list the required features without necessarily considering the possibility of integration of these technologies. However, this consideration is important to achieve a high level of efficiency.

Example: Using a computer-assisted design suite

The integration of this type of technology initially seeks to reduce the time required for developing new products, but in many companies, designers use the suite’s basic functions, without looking at advanced features that could automate certain steps or automatically generate additional information such as the list of parts, materials and quantities required for the new product.

A design suite can certainly work independently, but the benefits will never be as significant as when you integrate it with other enterprise technologies.

Sharing digital information between departments is essential. It breaks information silos and makes data available to people who need it.

Horizontal integration of software applications (among themselves) reduces the risk of error and further improves process efficiency as well as data collection and accuracy. From order to delivery, integrated management systems enable companies to lighten their various business processes.

Automated production equipment has been around for many years now, but vertical integration is new (linking equipment to the corporate network and enabling communication and program transfers between them).

This vertical and horizontal integration bring greater connectivity and the sharing of digital data. The automation and integration of information technologies are the basis of what is called Industry 4.0.

Data serving the organization

Data must be accessible to anyone for whom it has added value. It is the company’s property, not the employee’s. This approach highlights the need to depersonalize data. It must also clarify the roles and responsibilities of everyone in this regard. We need to encourage questions about the type of information needed for decision-making.

  • A Purchasing Manager would probably benefit from better access to sales forecasts.
  • A Marketing Director may prefer data on the consumption habits of his clientele.
  • A Maintenance Manager might want to monitor the vital functions of equipment to help prevent failures.

Staff must be encouraged not to be content with the status quo and push the boundaries to further improve the management of operations.

The digitization of all the information of an organization, especially the data relating to its know-how, is essential to its durability. This data belongs to the company and must be integrated into its information system. They will allow it to improve its efficiency at virtually all levels.

In order to better target your specific needs for digital transformation and software development, it is usually necessary to call on specialists who will be able to make a diagnosis from which an action plan can then be drawn up.

Once you have identified the most important opportunities for improvement, you can start with them and quickly get information and results. Risk is thus limited and there is a chance to adjust as hypotheses are being tested.

Done helps companies target these possible improvements and choose the most realistic ones, especially those that will allow them to quickly obtain information about themselves and adjust as they go. Our expertise also allows us to ensure that technological advances are integrated with each other throughout the digital transformation journey.

Read Yanic Ménard’s last post: Digital Shift and Business Models

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