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The Unbundling of Industrial Software

With all digitization efforts under way, the industrial software market has become more complex - to keep the upper hand of recent developments and innovations Lean-IQ tries to unbundle the industrial software market.

As most companies may still print documents in order to transfer information, or take notes in individual documents and tables, digitization promises that knowledge will be shared more transparently. Everybody should be able to participate and drive knowledge growth and intelligence of the organization.

Investigating an organization's needs in regards to new software solutions will quickly appear to be a significant challenge. Legacy players have been joined by numerous new market entrants offering alternatives and niche products.

Most importantly, the market has shifted from a predominately on-premise model to a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) market. That comes with the advantage that industrial software has become much more available to also smaller organizations with a limited IT budget. Bundled features have been broken into its segment and are made available as you need them.

It is fair to say that you should first identify your organization's readiness to digitization - there are several tools available. E.g. the VDMA made guidelines available which allow you to quickly access your status quo.

In the upper graphic, we based our segmentation on the horizontal axis of the RAMI 4.0 model - hierarchy levels from IEC 62264, the international standards series for enterprise IT and control systems. These hierarchy levels represent the different functionalities within factories or facilities. (Note that the IEC 62243 standard is based upon ANSI/ISA-95.) To represent the Industry 4.0 environment, these functionalities have been expanded to include work pieces, labeled "Product," and the connection to the Internet of Things and services, labeled "Connected World." We then developed certain key features we connect with these software modules:

  • Long Term Storage

  • Machine Learning

  • Business Intelligence

  • Data Historian

  • Data Aggregation

  • Connectivity

  • Security

  • Connect, Control

All these levels are interconnected - certainly there may be isolated opportunities to implement them separately, but you will only capture full value, if you can draw a connection from the lowest to the highest layer.

Lean-IQ's research on SME organizations and their value stream processes unveils that the right steps into digitization often depend on the individual production network layout. General assumptions certainly allow you to define a common or best practice approach - but that may be still quite a step away from "digitization" and a connected / smart factory.

If you want to learn more about the industrial software landscape then get in contact with us:

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