Technology Record - Issue 33: Summer 2024

97 decision-making,” says Alfonso Rodriguez, Microsoft’s director of product marketing for manufacturing. “This evolution is particularly pronounced as companies manage vast quantities of data from machines, sensors, enterprise systems and human interactions. However, the full potential of this data is often unrealised due to fragmentation and lack of interoperability, resulting in siloed information that hampers operational agility and innovation.” The Modernizing Industrial Software for the AI (R)Evolution report, published by ARC Advisory Group in April 2024, echoes this. The report notes that “most industrial organisations have consolidated their enterprise software such as enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, product lifecycle management and supply chain management. For many, however, their factory and production software landscape remain a fragmented mess. This fragmentation results in data, process and productivity silos that are now barriers to the opportunities presented by the AI revolution.” Strategies that manufacturers can adopt to meet this challenge, all with data at their heart, include employing a smart factory approach, taking advantage of the opportunities the industrial metaverse brings and looking into the possibilities generative AI can offer. “The unification of operational technology (OT) and information technology data heralds many benefits, such as maximising the value of factory data, unlocking insights for production optimisation and fostering accelerated INDUSTRIALS & MANUFACTURING “ The market is undergoing a profound transformation, characterised by the rapid integration of advanced technologies and an increasing emphasis on data-driven decision-making” Photo: iStock/gorodenkoff