Digital Strategies Roundtable and SDA Bocconi in the U.S.

Digital Strategies Roundtable


This week the Digital Strategies Roundtable of the SDA Bocconi School of Management is meeting in Houston, hosted by Chevron and its CIO, Bill Braun. The daylong discussion is on the topic of creating an enterprise data strategy to support the corporate business strategy. CIOs and other senior executives from large, global companies like Levi’s, Tetra Pak, Owens Corning, Eaton Corporation, Tenaris, Airlines Reporting Corporation, Huntsman and the American Bureau of Shipping will join Chevron’s executives and SDA Bocconi’s Hans Brechbuhl, Associate Professor of Practice and Director of the Digital Strategies Roundtable at SDA Bocconi, in this conversation.


The last meeting of the Americas Chapter of this group was on the topic of Industry 4.0. Professor Enzo Baglieri, Associate Professor of Operations and Technology at the SDA Bocconi School of Management joined Professor Brechbuhl and Nico Abbatemarco, SDA Junior Fellow, in this discussion in Columbus, Ohio at Owens Corning’s factory and innovation center there.  Key takeaways were:

  1. Industry 4.0 is still in the discovery and definition phase. Early initiatives focus on supply-chain operational optimization, and on new demand-chain revenue streams from data-based services — much of which will require new levels of integration and performance from enterprise-wide infrastructure.


  1. The key question about Industry 4.0 is when and where to invest. Digital technologies can be applied anywhere, but the return may fail to justify the effort. In parallel, enterprises need to look to start-ups to fill gaps traditional vendors cannot serve.


  1. Digital transformation in manufacturing is fundamentally about integrated technology ecosystems, and is inherently cross-functional and enterprise-wide. Functional and technology silos have to be replaced by common processes, platforms, and standard.


  1. Success in Industry 4.0 depends on new philosophies towards organization and technology. Information technology (IT) and operations technology (OT) need to collaborate closely, under one governance entity, with clear ownership and accountability defined for products and platforms.


  1. Cybersecurity is now critical to OT too — and is finally getting the enterprise-wide consideration it merits. OT needs to rely on IT’s expertise in cyber and infosec, rather than duplicating it.


  1. Turnkey solutions are shrinking industry value chains. As innovative manufacturers consolidate product, platforms, and services into turnkey solutions, technology vendors are looking hard from the outside at how to disrupt traditional industries. Delay in pursuing 4.0 initiatives may have long-term existential consequences.


Read more and Download pdf of article on Industry 4.0

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