Steffen Roos is Managing Partner at Detecon. He spoke to Industrial Production about the status of development in cloud and edge computing and the role these elements play in the digitalization concept.
The cloud has been high on the agenda of industrial CIOs for a long time, however, with very different degrees of maturity in its use. While some have already deeply familiarized themselves with the subject, others have so far only been able to barely scratch the surface of the topic. Of course, the extent to which companies deal with the cloud depends entirely on the respective business strategy and the IT strategy that is derived from it. After all, the cloud - with all its advantages - is not always the more cost-effective alternative compared to the existing infrastructure. Nevertheless, there is still a lot of untapped potential in the area of cloudification.
But before you start thinking about where the journey with the cloud is headed, you should ask yourself what the actual added value of the cloud for your own company is. In specific terms, companies must examine to which cloud solutions can generate a business impact for their own organization. Should the solution be used as a driver for optimizing existing business processes, for example through data-driven automation, decision-making and controlling, or as an enabling for new business areas, for example through a new digital product portfolio or through strategic partner networks and networked supply chains? The key question should therefore be, "What challenges do I want to address using the cloud and what are the champion use cases for my business?" There are no two companies have the same answer to this question, because the different circumstances of a company - be it the underlying business model or the existing assets and legacy systems - result in different potentials and opportunities for each company. The spectrum is broad, ranging from product development and ERP systems to logistics and actual production. Cloudification is conceivable everywhere, but it does not always make sense. After all, you can't and don't have to install an iPhone in every hair dryer.