Jun 14, 2016 | By Tess

As we enter into a predominantly digital age, with apps being developed for virtually everything, and the Internet of Things really starting to take off, there is little surprise that a wide range of industries are turning to digital technologies, including 3D modeling and 3D printing. In fact, in a recent report published by American research and advisory firm Gartner, Inc. it seems that business executives expect that by 2020 41% of enterprise revenue will come from digital business—reportedly double what it was in 2015.

Despite these projections, however, Gartner also found that many enterprises have not even started a digital business transformation, and those that have have not optimized their digital tools. To help remedy this, Gartner, Inc. has laid out some steps to help enterprises create a vision for their industry to help them reap the benefits of digital business.

The study, Gartner’s 2016 CIO Agenda Report, is reportedly one of the world’s most expansive CIO surveys, wherein the firm has tracked nearly 3,000 Chief Information Officers from over 84 countries to analyze where their strategic business, technical, and management priorities lie.

Jorge Lopez, vice president at Gartner, Inc, said, "Enterprises can transform by exploiting business moments or by using digital capabilities to enter or create new markets as Airbnb and Uber have done. However, many enterprises will find it easier to start by creating a vision for digital business for their particular industry. This approach enables the enterprise to tilt the fundamentals of competition in its favor without limiting digital business to narrow sequences of events and committing to a vast building project. Once the enterprise has established its vision, it can more easily tackle business moments or leverage its digital capabilities in new markets."

Essentially, an industry vision involves four parts: concept, capabilities, assets, and research, which when combined can give an idea as to what a particular business could look like if they optimized their digital tools, such as the Internet of Things, smart machines, and technologies like 3D printing. Lopez explains, “For asset-intensive industries, digital technologies can automate operations on a large scale—not just individual business processes, but a whole operation end to end. Productivity will leap as smart automation makes better, faster decisions, and produces more at lower cost with fewer assets and fewer stoppages. At the same time, optimized production will usually reduce the enterprise's environmental impact.”

Concept, as Gartner explains, is the first step. Enterprises must conceive of a “fundamental change” that will impact all tiers of its business and operations. The firm offers the example of a auto manufacturer that permits individual repair shops to 3D print their own car parts. This would remove the necessity for the auto repair shop to wait for delivery, and would cut back on the manufacturer’s own costs on raw materials, as well as decrease supply, and manufacturing management. Of course, even at the conceptual stage, issues would arise, such as how to go about making accurate digital models for each part, and ensuring that repair shops have adequate 3D printing systems and materials.

Capabilities requires the enterprise to develop new tools and skills to effectively manage the digital business concept. For instance, this could mean training personnel in 3D printing operations, setting up a support system for the new technologies, and finding new partners within the additive manufacturing sphere. Next, the transitioning enterprise will need to develop a new set of assets to accomodate digital business, such as staff, data, and intellectual property. Lastly, research is required to continually expand the new digital business, to keep it up to date with trends and technological developments. Part of this research necessitates forming partnerships with universities and research labs to either develop or track emerging technologies.

While broad, having an industry vision could help guide enterprises from various industries towards a fruitful digital business venture. As our day to day lives are increasingly mediated by digital technologies, it is only appropriate for businesses to follow-suit and optimize their digital capabilities.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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