It is not that long ago that a computer chip was something that resided in a computer on your desk.

Now the SMMT expect UK car production to be 100,000 cars down this year due to a global shortage of chips!

The rate of change being experienced this century – the 4th Industrial Revolution (or Industry 4.0) – is unprecedented, as industry embraces digital transformation.

This fourth industrial revolution is shaping up to be even more transformational than the previous ones as we move into the age of smart interconnected machines and intelligent automation.

Many manufacturers are finding ways to grow by building smarter products, as well as harnessing the power of data and analytics to switch to service models, creating new revenue streams. Just as significantly, they are leveraging new technology trends such as artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), and cloud computing to streamline their own business processes, reduce costs and become more competitive.

There are three major opportunities that are driving transformation.

  • First, there’s the potential for companies to accelerate their rate of innovation and bring new products and services into the market more quickly because digitally connected value-chains provide instant feedback on product performance and customer satisfaction, creating a closed-loop for market performance all the way back to the engineering process.
  • The second opportunity allows businesses to become much more data-driven. This means using data to inform decision-making that becomes more accurate – and also allows for better forecasting and a shift towards new paradigms such as predictive maintenance and automation of processes such as logistics, inventory, production planning.
  • The third opportunity allows businesses, regardless of whether they are B2B or B2C, to fundamentally change the relationships they have with customers. This ranges across everything from established sales and after-sales transactional relationships to new subscription and as-a-service customer offerings. It means businesses can get a far better understanding of how their customers are using and interacting with their products and take a more accurate measure of “customer experience.” This also leads to more accurate and valuable product renewal or upgrade – an increasingly important factor for any business today.

Acting on all of these opportunities can be done by leveraging a number of emerging technology trends. Cloud and high-performance computing give businesses the ability to build more accurate, high-resolution models of their products, services, and operations. The cloud-based, pay-as-you-go nature of these services means they are often affordable even for SMEs, provides them best practice as well as advanced analytical models such as the digital twin no longer only available to large, well-resourced global organizations.

Another hugely important trend in manufacturing is the digitization of products themselves. Most smart products today have an element that is not directly related to the physical or mechanical aspects of the product. This software layer can be changed and updated without having to go through expensive physical re-design and re-engineering processes. Often it is key to the product’s ability to collect and transmit data to help manufacturers better understand how they are being used and what value they are providing to their customers.

This can have the benefits of creating a much more personalized product … an upgradeable product, with a much longer lifecycle while being able to bring some innovation to customers without having to change the physical and mechanical aspects. You can be much more innovative with your customers.

Keeping ahead of the market

The move to digitisation has had a major impact on the structure of some markets – removing traditional competitors and creating new competitors.

With thousands of new tech start-ups each year, and most of them fighting to stand out from the crowd for their share of the investment pot, the key to sustainable success lies in understanding WHY they are doing what they are doing i.e.

  • What market need are they satisfying?
  • Who are they competing with – in what relevant way are they better?
  • Technological innovation – Where does their R&D road map fit with the anticipated evolution of market need and competitive development?

How Infintec can help

We are one of the few companies who have the capability to undertake due diligence across all three of the above areas.

With clients – our process always starts with our Qualification (Discovery) stage, where we look in detail at the market and the technology as well as the finances and the people.

Where appropriate, we can drill down even further with our psychometric HR analysis tools, or employ our proven Technical Due Diligence process to provide clarity and understanding of an organisation’s software engineering, architectures and software methodologies.

With investors – we can help qualify in potential candidates, or improve them through our innovation funding and scaling solutions.

Our overall capability allows us to help both ambitious tech businesses grow faster, and investors to make better decisions.

Why not talk to us and find out more.