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The future of applications in industrial equipment

Industrial equipment companies looking to digitize the enterprise must rethink how they build and develop applications.


Technology, especially information technology, is transforming the entire industrial equipment industry and leading to unconventional growth. Digitizing the engineering, manufacturing and supply network is key. Most supply chains today are no longer fit to compete in a digital world. Linear and static, they hamper growth opportunities and lead to cost issues that threaten competitiveness. Industrial equipment companies must start managing the supply network as a digital ecosystem in order to equip the organization for growth, enabling quick movement into new geographies, support for new value delivery approaches and creation of innovative products and services.

This digital ecosystem—as well as other factors such as industry consolidation and marketplace alliances—puts pressure on the IT environment of industrial equipment companies, particularly in the area of applications.

Key Findings

Three application strategies are especially important for Industrial Equipment companies as they look to compete with agility and speed and satisfy the demands of their customers:


Developing applications that are more modular or component based and API driven, enabling quick composition of functional applications.


Embedding software intelligence in applications to manage growing volume, velocity and complexity, and to maximize the business value of internal and external data—including that from the physical world.


Creating applications capable of connecting with other applications both inside and outside the enterprise boundaries.

Liquid, intelligent and connected applications must also be underpinned by a modern architecture that has important new characteristics, including platform integration capabilities, security, monitoring and API lifecycle services. Investment in flexible, standardized, open integration services provides the ability to efficiently connect applications and information across the company.


The industrial equipment industry holds untapped potential for growth around the globe. That growth is being fueled by a number of marketplace forces:

  • Innovation is accelerating as companies work to differentiate themselves from competitors.

  • Players are increasingly focused on developing new services that attract and retain customers.

  • Companies are attempting to more tightly connect and collaborate with partners across the value chain.

  • Automation, analytics and intelligence are redefining corporate strategies in the era of the Industrial Internet of Things.

Meeting these challenges and driving growth requires a new generation of applications—liquid, intelligent and connected. The business of applications is changing how industrial equipment companies operate and grow. No longer a supporting capability, applications are a driver of strategy and competitive differentiation. They can enable entirely new services for new markets.