Platform Ecosystems: Accelerating Digital Transformation And Solving The Global Challenges Of Our Industrial Age

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Digitalisation has a leading role to play in reducing emissions and combatting climate change, arguably two of the greatest challenges of our age.

To keep the rise in average global temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius (compared with pre-industrial levels) and remain competitive in the digital economy, Industry needs to transition to a cleaner, all electric, digital world. However, despite advances in digital technology and the potential benefits they bring, many industrial companies are still having trouble making the switch. It appears getting to this new, more efficient industrial world isn’t so easy.

So how do we accelerate digitalisation and the transition to exclusive use of electricity as a fuel, and in turn climate action? We believe platform ecosystems such as the Schneider Electric Exchange could be one of the answers.

As mentioned in the Frost & Sullivan white paper, “by providing value-for-many on the basis of open access, dialogue, specialised content and transparency,” exchange is a go to place for companies who want their digital transformation to be successful. Also, if they haven’t yet started.

 

Accelerating Digital Transformation With Ecosystem Thinking

What is holding us back? Slow progress in improving sustainability and embracing digitalisation comes down to the same road blocks:

  • Finding right technology solution
  • Access to technology
  • Lack of implementation know-how
  • Integration of new technologies
  • Slow uptake in technology
  • Silos
  • Issues with supply chain…

At the heart of it, climate change and digitalisation both require working together and managing change. Getting everyone aligned and moving in the right direction has been one of the main difficulties for climate action. Similarly, to make digitalization projects successful breaking down silos and facilitating cultural change within companies is very important.

That is where digital ecosystems come in. Open platforms like the Schneider Electric Exchange allow for unprecedented levels of collaboration and innovation. It is about bringing the required expertise and capabilities together. Then eliminating barriers to success and driving better collaboration so we can all help to solve problems together.

 

Removing Barriers To Collaboration Leads To Faster Innovation

We see more and more success stories since Schneider Electric launched the platform in April 2019. Compared to what could happen in the future, they are only the tip of the iceberg.

Recently a System Integrator, JPI Solutions, used the ‘contextualised search’ feature of Exchange to help them find a specific solution through certified technology partner Gen7 Systems. In one of their comments about why they chose to use the platform, JPI Solutions said it was because they could make the purchase outside of work hours. Could digital transformation be any more convenient?

Collaboration seems even more crucial when there is no solution to address the challenge of our customer. By joining forces and surpassing local market limits, we can create bigger value for the customer, and this is what happened to Jordan Engineering from Canada and Supertech from India. They have connected through Exchange and used the advantage of sharing each other’s capabilities to better reply to customer needs.

Exchange is working for our partners thanks to two key ingredients in a successful digital ecosystem:

  • Openness
  • Trust

Creating an open and trusted platform is vital in enabling a network of some 50 000 diverse problem solvers to work effectively together to co-develop and innovate industrial automation solutions.

We hope it will also drive the uptake of new and existing technologies by giving more people greater access to what is already out there. Especially for highly specialised solutions that might not be widely known, like the example above.

 

Working Together To Solve The Greatest Challenges Of Our Time

Our vision is that into the future the Schneider Electric Exchange will be used more and more by a range of different people, offering not just technology solutions but also business consultants, sustainability consultants, organisational and change experts, and many more, fueling sustainable growth across the whole economy.

Overall, it will help companies take greater and faster action for efficiency, sustainability, and business innovation. Because after all, none of us can do it on our own!

 

Article by Sophie Borgne, senior VP of Digital Plant Business, Schneider Electric.

 

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