Published on in ManufacturingDigital Transformation

We talk about the pace of change a lot here at Fujitsu, but sometimes it’s hard to believe how fast the world turns these days.

But as winter rolls in and we prepare for the new year ahead, it’s always a good time to take stock of everything that happened over the last 12 months.

With that in mind, here are some of the best bits from the blog for 2017…

1. Wearable tech came into its own

It’s one thing for your tech to make things more efficient or easier. But when it’s saving lives while doing so it becomes a no-brainer.

Earlier in the year, I wrote about how wearable technology is keeping workers safe in the field by preventing accidents or allowing first responders to get on the scene more quickly.

And if improved safety wasn’t enough of a selling point, access to new technology such as wearables is proving attractive to new hires too.

With the UK’s skills shortage driving up competition for talent, being able to present yourself as an innovative company to work for can make all the difference.

2. The digital revolution will be driven by the workforce taking us there

Bear with me here. Of course, this sounds like an obvious point to make, but if companies are going to reap the benefits of digitisation they need to make sure their workers are on board too.

Metawater, a Japanese company providing repair and maintenance services for water and sewage infrastructure, understands this.

Along with the country’s population, Japan’s infrastructure is beginning to show its age.

This presents the unique challenge of infrastructure that requires a lot more repair and upkeep, but a workforce that’s slipping into retirement and taking its expertise with it.

Digital solutions are making this transition smoother, however.

By digitising data from assets and using mobile technology to help retiring employees train new recruits, Metawater is showing others how to overcome similar challenges.

3. We’re not going to build the future on our own

This is one that arguably applies to more than just manufacturing, but indulges me for a moment.

Digital disruption is taking no prisoners, and co-creation is increasingly the only way to keep up.

And because manufacturers are so easily hamstrung by legacy architectures, they arguably need co-creation even more than those in other sectors.

When thinking about how to apply co-creation’s open and collaborative principles to my industry over the past year, I find myself referring to James Bambrough’s handy golden rules, which he presented at World Tour:

  1. Start with end in mind
  2. Use a framework, not a methodology
  3. Communicate, collaborate, diversify
  4. Engage your audience
  5. Prove fast; prove cheap
  6. Test, iterate and test again

4. Industry 4.0 is coming, but how will emerging technologies affect what that looks like?

And after World Tour came Fujitsu Forum.

The ICM in Munich was abuzz once again, and there was plenty on the agenda for the manufacturing sector.

We managed to squeeze in a huge amount over the three days, hearing about the imminent arrival of Industry 4.0, smart factories, connectivity and more.

And of course, artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain (yep, it’s not just for banking) were never far from people’s lips.

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So those were my highlights. I’m sure before I know it we’ll be here reflecting on another year of amazing innovation in our industry.

Something to look forward to in twelve months’ time!

 

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