Why is software-driven innovation essential to becoming an Industry 4.0 / Smart Industry winner? In this 5 minute pitch, Robert Howe describes the challenges that face companies wanting to succeed at industrial digitalisation and where to go to find out more. 

Prefer text? The speaker notes of the presentation follow below the video.

Digitalisation is not a trend. It’s a force majeure, its happening now and it will bury you if you ignore it. Why? Because digitalisation leads to massive disruption, surprising winners and shocking losers.

For example, from nowhere Uber has become the world’s largest Taxi company. And yet it owns no vehicles. Airbnb is now the worlds largest provider of accommodation and yet it owns no real estate. Alibaba is the worlds most valuable retailer and yet it holds no inventory. These companies are digitalization winners and they have one thing in common, they strategically use the power of software to drive innovation.

Let’s consider the other side of the coin. Nokia got taken out by the Smartphone and Apple took its place. Kodak got wiped out by the introduction of the digital camera and Sony took its place. Blockbuster video failed to get into the streaming business and Netflix took their place. What these companies have in common is a failure to use software to drive innovation. But there’s a further lesson: if you fail to innovate, someone will take your place.

In Industry, Tesla is using software to transform the automotive world. And Google is using Android to enter the Infotainment market. The immediate consequence is that TomTom’s future has become uncertain.

So what are the specific threats that we’re talking about? Businesses who have adopted a software centric strategy can innovate faster, gain a deeper understanding of their customers, invent new business models and ultimately achieve an unassailable competitive advantage.

With this in mind, what do you want your company to be? Winner? Survivor? Or Loser? Winners have a software centric strategy and exploit software as a business asset. Survivors adopt a software inclusive strategy and view software as something that they have to do. Losers do not understand software and consider it to be a pain in the ass. So, again, where are you now and where do you want your company to be?

I have some good news – in the Netherlands we’re sat on a gold mine. We are experts in mechanics and masters of electronics. We produce world class industrial software and together we can be the winners of Smart Industry. But, there’s a problem: our software capability is poorly recognised and completely under exploited.

As a consequence, a group of 26 companies who have got together under the flag of the High Tech Software Cluster to promote the use of software to drive innovation in industry. We have a very beautiful mission statement, but to save time I’ll just give you the summary: we help you to be a smart industry winner. For example, the software for the new Additive Industries 3D Printer has been developed by one of our cluster members using techniques that have led to a 50% reduction in time to market.

Want to know more? The High Tech Software Cluster’s software competence centre is the home of software driven innovation and will open shortly. We will be pleased receive you there and explain more about how to can help you. Please contact me for more information.