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Digital expectations are at an all-time high

Incorporating digital technologies is not enough to fulfill demand. Follow these trends to help you succeed.

The rise of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is creating a wealth of new opportunities for industrial equipment (IE) manufacturers. But, to take full advantage they need to do more than incorporate digital technologies into their organization.

The digital transformation of the marketplace has made it vital that IE producers not only be experts at manufacturing, but also excel at designing digital solutions that give customers the experiences they want from connected devices. To achieve this, IE companies need to embed digital connectivity into every facet of their operations. It also means broadening their digital approach to include customers, employees and other industries to build collaborative partnerships to provide the connected experiences that customers are increasingly demanding.

The Accenture Technology Vision for Industrial Equipment 2015 highlights four of the most critical technology trends vital to success in a global IE market that is being dominated by the IIoT:

The Internet of Me is growing in influence as it places the end-user at the center of every digital experience, enabling people and businesses around the world to interact through technology. As more and more everyday objects evolve into connected devices, IE companies should prepare to design applications that enable people to personalize, control, measure, and automate parts of their lives.

The Outcome Economy, where highly connected IIoT hardware components (which please customers with more of what they want in terms of outcomes beyond products or services) are becoming critical to customer satisfaction. The IIoT has given IE companies the tools to gain end-to-end insights into the outcomes that their customers are trying to achieve. Using the IIoT as an analytical tool will become increasingly important as more intelligent hardware will encourage a shift from focusing on selling products or services, to selling outcomes.

The Platform Revolution is providing comprehensive approaches to integrating machines, data, insights, and people which are essential to capturing IIoT opportunities. Adopting this concept will enable companies to customize platforms to the particular needs of a diverse range of customers. One leading IE producer has begun deploying such platforms to grow its business - platforms that are becoming the blueprint for forging new value chains on the fly to build, connect, and deliver applications specific to industry problems.

Workforce Reimagined is a concept designed to create more productive interaction between workers and technology that will become more important as the IIoT market takes hold. In our survey, IE executives say that successful businesses will be those that manage employees alongside machines. Capturing what is best about both human talent and machine intelligence are critical elements of a reimagined workforce.

In summary, many industrial equipment manufacturers are already aggressively pursuing ways to deliver better outcomes to their customers. From forming cross-industry alliances to fine-tuning human-machine collaboration to create more value in innovative ways. It is this kind of re-engineering of the traditional IE business model that will be needed to succeed in the Industrial Internet of Things era.

By James Robbins, Industrial Equipment Managing Director, North America