Can the CIO Facilitate IoT Convergence in Smart Plant Digital Transformation? Part 1

By: Babette Ten Haken - Leave a comment


Is IoT convergence part of the CIO ‘s next evolutionary role in the smart enterprise? After all, the CIO role is undergoing transformation within the industrial Internet of Things ecosystem (IIoT).

Not only is the CIO responsible for IT systems and services management and oversight. Also, the IoT CIO now becomes master of cross-disciplinary forces impacting how the enterprise generates business and operational value for clients.

Like the CIO didn’t already have enough responsibilities on their plate.

A provocative study by the Boston Consulting Group, The Factory of the Future , surveyed 750 manufacturing product leaders from automotive, engineered products and process industries. The goal of the study was to define the vision and elements of the implementation roadmap for the factory of 2030.  Clearly, large-scale plant structure, digitalization and processes will be re-architected and reinvented in order to deliver on a fully integrated, industrial IoT value chain.

However, creating the ecosystem to deliver on that future value chain has big implications for right now. And there is no room for complacency.

In today’s smart plant environments, the CIO facilitates IoT convergence: how data is acquired, accessed and analyzed to communicate tomorrow’s business value.

Clearly the CIO now responds to greater demand by internal customers for data-driven applications that deliver insightful and actionable analytics. Enhanced appetite for consumable analytics insights throughout the smart plant also demands that the CIO is comfortable and conversant about tech advances, improvements, impediments and innovations. In addition, the CIO must deliver information when and where business is being conducted: virtually or within a physical setting.

Delivering on the demands for convergence takes the CIO beyond the borders of IT. In defining how IT creates and delivers value to clients, the CIO wades deep into the cross-currents of IT OT convergence issues. The CIO assumes a translational role to implement that IoT convergence roadmap.

Understanding how IT creates and delivers line of business value starts right where stuff is made.

After all, in industrial and manufacturing smart plant environments,  what is happening on the shop floor and plant floor impacts how, when, where and why output is delivered to customers. As a result, when it comes to convergence, a savvy CIO partners strategically with her counterpart, the Chief Plant Operations Officer (COO).

The CIO and COO have a lot in common when it comes to delivering on business value. Consider that the Chief Plant Operations Officer also is faced with equally enhanced demand to identify and articulate how manufacturing environments generate business value.

First, there is increased demand for making sense out of data chaos created by real-time monitoring of integrated machinery.  Then, the value of predictive maintenance software programs can be extrapolated beyond their impact on capital equipment lifecycle ROI, operations efficiency, waste, quality and supply chain economy of scale.

As a result, the epicenter of IT OT convergence depends on how well the CIO and COO collaborate to achieve that IoT convergence.

Consequently, business value is created by synchronizing IT OT convergence. Why? Because line of business value for the smart plant creates a critical interface. That interface “happens” when the stuff that is made moves into the realm of how that stuff is sold.

The key architects of IT OT value convergence are holistic. They take the time to understand how to leverage all the factors “converging” at this interface. Perhaps most importantly, the CIO and COO understand that IT OT convergence reflects a cross-cultural convergence within the smart enterprise.

No matter whether you are a building a future plant or wrestling with the impact of the industrial IoT on your organization right now, you have work to do. Perhaps your first order of business value creation leverages a human capital and tech workforce hiring strategy that concurrently identifies a CIO and plant COO best suited to create and implement your IT OT convergence strategy.

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About The Author

Babette Ten Haken

Founder & President, Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC

Babette Ten Haken is a catalyst, corporate strategist and facilitator. She writes, speaks, consults and coaches about how cross-functional team collaboration revolutionizes the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) value chain for customer loyalty, customer success and customer retention. Her One Millimeter Mindset™ programs draw from her background as a scientist, sales professional, enterprise-level facilitator, Six... Read More