Technology Record - Issue 31: Winter 2023

112 INTERVIEW Building the data ecosystems of the future AVEVA’s Bry Dillon explains how developing a strong network of suppliers, vendors, customers and value chain partners will help organisations in the industrial sector to drive innovation and reach their sustainability goals Organisations that share data, applications or operations with their ecosystem partners through joint ventures will increase profitability by five percentage points by the end of 2023, according to the IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Future of Industry Ecosystems 2023 Predictions report. One reason for this is that when organisations are able to leverage an ecosystem of applications, partners and service providers, they can unlock the value of their data and thereby increase productivity, operational efficiency and sustainability, while accelerating innovation. Bry Dillon, senior vice president of partners and business development at AVEVA, explains how the company is working with Microsoft to help industrial businesses build the data ecosystems of the future. What is the ‘Ecosystems of the Future’ strategy, and how does it support a connected industrial economy? Today’s industrial organisations are increasingly reliant on – and optimised by – data-driven insights. This means their value chains are both connected and interdependent. Their success depends on the Ecosystem of the Future: a network of suppliers, vendors, customers and value chain partners sharing information for mutual business value and to help accelerate sustainability ambitions. This type of ecosystem enables seamless communication, optimised operations and improved decision-making within the industrial landscape. Data is the ultimate strategic resource. By tapping into industrial ecosystems, it’s possible to maximise this resource by breaking down silos, driving efficiency and sustainability, accelerating innovation and generating new opportunities. All these factors result in a competitive advantage over isolated companies, establishing a strong foundation for ecosystem players and ensuring future success. In addition, connected companies benefit from better supply chain management, enhanced customer experiences, cost reduction, risk mitigation and business resilience. How does the Ecosystems of the Future model facilitate partners working together and how can this spur innovation? Partnerships are a powerful way to drive innovation quickly and effectively. When multiple entities combine their unique and complementary strengths by sharing data, tackling looming business challenges, including our collective race to net zero, becomes easier. In this way, data ecosystems represent the next wave of digital transformation. They leverage a trusted network of technologies to connect industrial operators and their partners. If they are part of an industrial data ecosystem, organisations gain access to new capabilities or expertise they may not have in-house. More importantly, a unified view across the value chain enables enterprises to discover crucial new insights that enhance their abilities amid a changing business environment. When this industrial intelligence is powered by artificial intelligence and shared in the cloud, every value chain participant – including partners – can visualise routes to co-innovation and improved efficiency, productivity and sustainability. How can these ecosystems help developers to collaborate to create solutions that make businesses more efficient and sustainable? The competitive advantages gained from secure data-sharing communities strengthen trusted developer relationships. By adding context to real-time data, companies can expedite research and development, innovate together and mutually enhance competitive advantages. Around the world, developers are already leveraging the connected ecosystem to drive positive outcomes. The ability to share standard-format granular data BY REBECCA GIBSON