Sunday, January 25, 2015

How will we work in 2025?

During the holiday break I was catching up on reading, validating ideas, and directions, and I found this article on "Why we would work in 2020? from NASA IT Talk.

What interested me was you had a big semi government organization often not know for agility, talking agility of missions, of different sizes, and also the workspace transformation technologies and experiences were the same as we are predicting in Industrial/ manufacturing operational space.
The link above takes you to the article and here is an extraction: The targeted outcomes are aligned as well, with agility, collaboration, understanding the future,

"As IT professionals, we are used to rapid changes. But compared to what’s coming, we ain’t seen nothin’yet. Of course, no one actually knows the future, but by predicting it, we can make better decisions today that will help us become more effective tomorrow. The purpose of this article is to start a discussion so we can innovate together to help NASA IT lead the way and prepare for how NASA employees will work effectively in 2025. It has been said that the best way to predict the future is to create it. While we may not be able to create the IT future by ourselves, we can certainly in‑fluence it. A good way to accomplish this is to:

(1) collaboratively predict the future;

(2) test it together now with leading industry innovators by creating meaningful and evocative prototypes that provide high value for our constituents in the NASA environment;

(3) measure the results

(4) communicate the results as visibly and loudly as we can.

So, what will the technology environment look like in 2025, you ask? OK, here’s a prediction at a subset of the new normal in 2025:
  • ·         3D printing / scanning / faxing is mainstream.
  • ·         Consumer robotics is everywhere and really cheap.
  • ·         All data is accessible, searchable and usable from any device.
  • ·         We can use unlimited computing and storage through cloud computing.
  • ·         Computing is wearable with any data accessible at any time.
  • ·         Reality is augmented via modeling by default through our mobile apps and wearable computing.
  • ·         Space is partly commercialized and NASA routinely partners with commercial and nontraditional
  • ·         entities.
  • ·         Over 10% of cars are self-driving.
  • ·         More than 50% of  employees are Millennials.
  • ·         NASA looks and feels much more like a startup than we did in 2014 and we use
  • ·         crowd sourcing routinely.
  • ·         Projects are accomplished in months, not years.

How will we work?
·         We will routinely use effective, rapid prototyping with faster, lighter, cheaper, and more effective infusion of the latest technologies into the NASA missions. Agile development will seem cumbersome in comparison.
·         We will evaluate and use the most effective emerging tools as part of our normal work. Visual programming and modeling will be expected and NASA will show visible leadership to industry.
Where will we work?
Simply put, NASA will be the workplace of choice. We will have a balanced, “startup-like” environment with mobile, reconfigurable, ­t-to-purpose workspace that enhances personal productivity and job satisfaction.
Working from anywhere with any data and any device will be the new normal.
Who will perform the work? NASA will be the employer of choice and the
partner of choice for the next generation of startups, industry, partners, and competitors. What about “the crowd” you say? Bring it on! Crowd ideation / development / funding will be commonplace and highly effective.
What will we work on? We will be equally adept at small and large missions, for both wild and feasible ideas. We will use industry for transportation. We will be on our way to 3D printing on Mars in preparation for sending humans to Mars. Asteroids will be within our grasp (literally). Submarining under the ice of Europa will be imminent.
We will monitor and protect our planet with millions of sensors composed of official NASA instruments and crowd-sourced wearable computing and nanosats. And that’s just a start.
Here is a sampling of predicted changes and prime candidates for prototyping that will show us the way to taste test this future now across NASA Centers and with leading industry innovators:
• By taking advantage of Big Data and Analytics, we can easily ­nd, store, share, and update all relevant information when we need it. We will provide self-service analytics to all who need it, so our decisions are based on data, not anecdotes. Robotic devices and scripts will collect valuable data for us 24 hours per day, every day.
• The Internet of Things and Wearable Computing will help us to have instant access to all this information at our fi­ngertips, on our wrists, in our glasses, via hand gestures, and by simply speaking the questions.
• We will use just-in-time training through videos created by current NASA specialists, and through specialized Massive Open Online Courses, all available from anywhere and any device via on-demand video snippets delivered directly to our favorite devices, such as smart glasses.
• 3D Printing/Scanning/Copying/Faxing will be mainstream and will allow us to hold effective
brainstorming sessions where we mix virtual and physical models regardless of where we are located.

Is this too Pollyanna’ish for you? Too conservative? Either way, please participate in the conversation and help us steer this train in the right direction, because it is already moving and speeding up, with or without us. Our destination is exciting indeed. And it’s all enabled by IT. "

We should not be surprised, but it is good to see validation of our thoughts.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Traditional System Integrators Transformation to Solution Providers!!!

In a number of discussions this week and last year it was clear that in the next 5 to 10 years the role and way traditional System Integrators work in the Industry Supervisory/ Operational/ Information space, will transform significantly. Especially those serving the smaller to medium industrial market, customers will demand accelerated solutions with a different model of project management, eg no RFP, no long project cycle, expect pre canned domain knowledge. They will want setup fast, and results with understandable costs. Similar to Sales where your CRM system can be set up in days, is the model that early adopters are testing in 2014, and I expect to grow in 2015.

The leading System Integrators will start transforming to “Solution Providers” leveraging hosted industrial platforms of capability from leading industrial automation vendors, to build domain predefined operational solutions.

This is not far different to what system integrators do traditional as they take supervisory, scada, historian, mes, etc. products from industrial vendors and then configure and extend these products into a customer solution based on a customer definition.  So what is changing is that users are now wanting:

·         Solutions faster, minimal project removal of the project RFP process
·         Less involvement
·         Expect domain experience built in
·         Minimal impact on internal resources
·         Minimal risk
·         “Good enough” will do if it improves and minimal impact or up front cost
·         Minimal up front cost.

Traditionally customers have demanded their customer solution, with cost and impact of a project, but this is changing, with questions like:

  • Why should they wait? 
  • They cannot be the only company wanting do this? 
  • Why is not just a proven module of capability, they we configure for us?
So the new generation of System Integrator in the industrial world will be a “solution provider”. Providing a service of domain solutions hosted and built on an digital industrial platform from vendors such as Schneider-Electric. They will engage the customer in 3 to 5 year service contracts, but projects will be in weeks not months, years, RFPs will go away to selecting modules and completing configuration questionnaires.

These solution Providers will add and evolve the domain value in the applications to increase users accessing the information, and interacting, while industrial vendors will develop the industrial digital platforms with increased flexibility, functionality to attract local domain “solution Providers”, to build solutions on their platform. The local aspect will still play an important role due to confidence and uniqueness.

It will be interesting time over the next 5 to 10 years to see the “thought leaders” take on this opportunity and capitalise on a new landscape! Is this now the answer is yes I am working with 2 Sis who are transforming and will leverage the real opportunity!     

Monday, January 5, 2015

Top 10 Manufacturing Operations Blogs for 2014

Many of you probably already are subscribed to MOM blogs, but just in case you not I though these top 10 showed some interesting thoughts.

On my blog the two topics which had a number of blog posts, but had highest hits were around:

1/ Situational Awareness , and change in the way we must design based upon impact
2/ Internet of Things and Cloud.

Interesting the year before cloud and internet of things created very little interest, but this aligns with significant growth in interest in these topics in 2014, and will only grow further into solid reality in 2015.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Why Companies must Reduce Complexity!!!

Happy New Year to all of you. 2015 dawns over the water here, and I have a chance to review many articles and and time step back and think. That is what the holidays provide for me a time of family time and reflection and direction.
In the last half of 2014 we saw a significant increase in companies wanting, engaging with with us on "operational System, Operational Environment in 2020 - 25". These were not esquires these were real engagements where companies were reflecting on their systems relative to the new operational landscape we are all facing over the next 10 years.I suspect that 2015 will continue this trend and different programs been taken by companies to guide investments, and technological adoptions to provide them with a foundation to address "operational transformation". Certainly from with in Schneider _Electric we focused on this transformation, and accelerating platforms, Products, applications that will enable operational systems for 2020-25. Addressing the increasing complexity of systems, without increasing operational process complexity is fundamental.

But I thought I would start the new year blog with a great article that I read through the holidays on companies addressing complexity. One of challengers we all face is the new operational landscape with changing products, a flat world of competition and changing workforce, we have a tendency to
think and create complexity is increasing value. This article by Neil Smith allows a good "step back" of the need stay focused on simplicity and this must apply to operational processes and systems, if we are going to be able to absorb change and compete.
So have a read, and lets make sure we do not loose focus on this fundamental objective of simplicity is key to "operational excellence"!!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Holidays and Season

All the best for the year a season, it has been an interesting ride in 2014, with many evolutions in the the thoughts around operational systems. With the acceleration in talk, and smarter devices and the introduction of initial digitization industrial platforms, that we will no doubt see significant evolution in 2015.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Industrial Software space continues to outgrow its labels!!!!

As the 2014 draws to a close, I seem to be sitting in a growing amount of long term strategic meetings both within Schneider-Electric and within customers and discussing the landscape of 2020 -2025. What immediately happens is the labels we have used for years for products, spaces, and roles no longer mean the same thing. We rapidly find ourselves setting up a glossary of labels and what they will mean in 2020-25 in order to gain alignment.

Putting a label on this space has been challenging because it has evolved over the last 20 years and will continue to change as many technologies converge towards an integrated industrial software platform strategy.

1990 - 2010: The label “MES” was first introduced in 1990 to refer to a point application at a single site (typically Quality Management). Over the next 20 years, more functionality was added to MES to keep pace with Automation trends.

2010-2015: In recognizing its evolution, some industry analysts have offered new acronyms like MOM (LNS Research), while others have redefined MES as follows:

“For many, MES is no longer a point application, but a platform that serves a dual purpose: integrating multiple business processes within a site and across the manufacturing network, and creating an enterprise manufacturing execution capability.”

-          Gartner Group, Vendor Guide for MES 2012

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Workforce Crisis of 2030!! And how to start solving it now

“People, workforce planning will become more important than financial planning.” Rainer Strack
This is a statement from good TED talk by Rainer on his interpretation of the workforce challenge of 2030. Supporting much of what this blog has been looking at this past year, but bringing another angle. The key we both trying to get over it is not about the changing workforce it is about the operational workforce transformation to a new workforce landscape of skill shortage, labor shortage and cultural and people change.

You can go to Ted talk with the following link.

A couple of extractions:

The investigation and determination of a significant workforce shortage by 2030, but starting now:

The required strategies that will dominate much the thinking

Rainer is talking general workforce, if you take this and bring it into manufacturing, industrial world, the shortages will be all more acute. As pointed out in other surveys from Accenture and others.

This shows in US survey results on filling skilled and highly skilled roles, below is worked example of mid sized company in mid west.  

This is why the move from knowledge to wisdom is key, and emedding of knowledge and wisdom , actionable decisions into the systems is key to accommodate the transformation to dramatically reduced dependency on skilled people. From Rainer’s and other investigations that Operational Systems of the future in the industrial market have 50% + reduction in dependency in skilled and highly skilled workforce. This Ted talk supports this will be the biggest issue in the next 10 years to sustain competitive agility. Like we have seen in 2014, I believe 2015 this acknowledgment and strategies building around workforce change will intensify.