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Digital optimisation or digital transformation?

19 February 2019

Digital transformation is the buzzword on everyone’s mind lately. But like so many trends that emerge, including Cloud and Edge computing, the definition isn’t always clear. Companies may think they are making strides toward digital transformation, but what’s really happening is digital optimisation. Optimisation is more internal and improves operational efficiencies, while transformation is more strategic and focused on creating a new digital business model.

Why companies should focus on digital transformation

According to Forbes, studies have shown employees want digital transformation at every level and not just within IT or Marketing. CEOs need to make it a priority to build cultures that can handle change and hire with digital transformation in mind. In addition, instead of working in silos, teams should work together to implement technology that will empower the entire organisation. This will increase agility and flexibility. Just like Edge Computing, digital transformation is a trend with legs, with the potential to impact business for years to come.

Characteristics of digital transformation trendsetters

Companies at the forefront of the digital transformation movement show greater innovation by embracing new technology to unlock growth. These companies look at products and services for opportunities, but they also consider what internal systems and processes need to be put in place to support the ability to quickly react to changes in the market and customer preferences.

Digital innovators focus as much on people as they do technology. Teams need to be cross functional and aligned to products, not working independently. While hiring the right employees is essential, companies also need to retrain current employees to work with new technologies and create internal cultures that value innovation and smart risk-taking.

Data empowers digital transformation

The keystone to digital transformation is data. Data is essential to identifying opportunities for optimisation, especially in industries like manufacturing, oil and gas, or financial services. But creating and collecting data is not enough. Data is only powerful when it is also actionable. Digital innovators get more value from their data than companies focused on digital optimisation. With increasing processing power and improved artificial intelligence, organisations can potentially double or triple their data utilisation.

As more companies embrace digital transformation, not only will more data be collected and analysed, it will also be processed in real-time on the plant floor or production line. In turn, these companies can make decisions that can save time, money, and product by correcting issues like labeling mistakes or incorrect temperature controls.

The need for real-time processing is what’s driving the growth of the edge. Using the edge, companies can analyse data near where it is collected, rather than sending all the data to the cloud and back. With properly planned edge computing, less data has to travel the network, resulting in fewer bottlenecks and freeing up the infrastructure to bring more computing power to the end of the web it’s creating.

Stratus Technologies ensures availability for edge computing applications

Stratus’ ztC Edge was specifically designed with the edge in mind. It’s fully virtualised, supporting up to three virtual machines running different industrial of IIoT applications. Combined with its cloud-based self-monitoring services, it ensures the availability of business-critical applications.

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