In a recent interview with Top Company Guide, Berthold Puchta, Global Industry Lead Manufacturing & Transportation, discusses the essential elements for digital transformation.
Most organizations realize that their needs cannot be fully satisfied by standard, out-of-the-box services and are increasingly seeking unique platforms to maximize their competitive advantage. Ness understands the importance of delivering value to the industry while keeping the end consumer in mind.
Designing for Digital
The digital transformation journey is best achieved with a phased approach. A common trajectory starts with (1) enhancing instrumentation, (2) digitizing remote monitoring of simple processes, (3) embedding basic automation with humans in the loop for support and corrective oversight, (4) applying machine learning and, eventually, (5) broadening AI-powered services to control the equipment with minimal human involvement. Other important aspects to keep in mind include the operational backbone (with its ERP, MES, and CRM), a shared understanding of the customer needs, an accountability framework, and, for the more advanced, an external developer platform to increase reach within the wider ecosystem.
The following examples provide additional context to the digital journey.
Cloud Platform Engineering
The cloud has greatly accelerated operations, and the adoption of container technology and container orchestration has further empowered teams with operational abstractions that resemble Aspect-oriented programming but for infrastructure. Ness has deployed an event-driven ticketing architecture in the intelligent transportation space. It leverages a scalable messaging broker to process events originating from the social network client LINE as well as public transport gates across the transport network. A cloud deployment accelerated the delivery and allowed the team to focus on distributed system challenges associated with event ordering.
Software product development has adapted to meet accelerated demands in release cadence without sacrificing quality. Intelligent engineering has become even more important as the number of teams spanning across the overall product family grows. Coordination can only be achieved with practices such as Scaled Agile Framework, which cadences teams against a known release train and COVID-savvy town hall meetings. Ness helped a leading enterprise content management software vendor boost its test coverage from 15% to 90% while reducing environment provisioning times from 8 hours down to 4 minutes. The overall cycle time for tests is now 4 days instead of 16. Automation and a balanced test pyramid are key to intelligent engineering of modern digital solutions.
Edge Software Development
Edge-side software in connected gas turbines has shifted the business model from selling the turbine itself to the energy it provides (often referred to as servitization). The software stacks at the edge include constrained devices as well as concentrators or gateways powered by more advanced microcontrollers. This critical edge compute can also be found on consumer devices such as entertainment media boxes in hotel rooms, as well as automotive electronic control units (ECUs).
Data & Analytics
Data and analytics are a fundamental part of the digital journey as organizations continue to generate increasing amounts of data and make new decisions about their optimal placement. Data governance remains an essential capability along with modern data processing techniques, including big data batch and stream processing or applied machine learning. Our partnership with a radiology imaging company led to the design and implementation of an end-to-end imaging data processing pipeline, including a data forge, a feature store and catalog, a flexible data science sandbox, and finally, a systematic model-serving approach.
Digital technologies are evolving rapidly, providing a host of new opportunities for businesses to capitalize on the power of their data, create efficiencies, improve quality and performance, and drive profitable growth. Innovation is a never-ending process and Ness is committed to providing ongoing value.