By: Beth Parkinson, market development director, Rockwell Automation. This article was originally published on the Rockwell Automation blog.
Rockwell Automation has been developing its Connected Enterprise for nearly a decade. Yet even though we integrated our information technology systems with operations systems and devices many years ago, you won’t find anyone — at corporate headquarters, in the IT department, or on the plant floor — who thinks we’re finished. The Connected Enterprise is a big driver of our success — today and tomorrow.
Why? Because it’s not just a revolution, it’s an evolution as well. Companies that follow The Rockwell Automation five-stage Connected Enterprise Execution Model —with our assistance and the help of partners such as Cisco Systems — recognize that The Connected Enterprise is a foundation upon which to build great things.
The Connected Enterprise evolves because the business world in which we live mutates at digital speed:
- Technologies: The capability and affordability of plant-floor Ethernet and smart devices, powerful computing solutions, and networking technologies are constantly improving. Each information technology/operational technology (IT/OT) enhancement will improve enterprise visibility and decision-making.
- Business activities: The evolution of your organization — mergers, acquisitions, new plants and offices, new customers and suppliers — requires adaptive systems and devices to mesh with The Connected Enterprise backbone. Similarly, new investments in equipment and employees means new points of access to the IT/OT infrastructure. You wouldn’t make a new hire and then deprive him or her of collaboration tools or real-time dashboards that boost productivity and profitability, would you?
- Market changes: The only thing certain about markets is that they will change — and change again. This presents both opportunities and challenges. For example, evolving information capabilities at utilities will help plant managers to optimize energy consumption, while metadata from commodities markets will drive cost-effective procurement. The challenges will continue to be rescuing insights from an ocean of data that threatens to drown executives.
Unfortunately, many companies have yet to start their Connected Enterprise evolutions. New research finds that only about half of manufacturing plant executives are aware of the Internet of Things. Even worse, just one in 10 plants has an IoT strategy — i.e., The Connected Enterprise — in place or is planning to put a strategy in place .
The Rockwell Automation Connected Enterprise Execution Model leads to intelligent networks that boost productivity, optimize asset utilization, deliver insights for informed decision-making — and bring operations and information security into the 21st century. What are you waiting for?
 2014 MPI Manufacturing Study, preliminary findings, The MPI Group, January 2015.