Observations from the 2019 ARC Industry Forum

By Ed O'Brien

Category:
Company and Product News

The 2019 ARC Industry Forum was a great success with record attendance by both end users and suppliers.  This year’s event, the 23rd, included attendees from throughout the globe discussing digital transformation topics in asset-intensive and smart industries, cities, and municipalities.    

Digital Transformation Takes Center Stage

Forum keynote and session speakers spoke of their experiences and observations about how digital transformation has proven beneficial to their organizations.  Many of the topics centered on the development of new strategies by leveraging digital transformation across organizational functions   

One of the keynote presentations, “Building Digital DNA@Scale” offered by Larry Megan from Praxair, offered a compelling overview of the importance of aligning business strategies with digital strategies.  Highlights included aligning a high reliability business strategy with low-cost IoT and analytics; achieving energy efficiency improvements with state-of-the art automation; lowering fixed costs by offering remote accessibility and decision tools; and improving execution focus with agile development.

In the “Digital Transformation in Asset Management and Field Service” session, presenters and panelists offered some great insights into their use of EAM and FSM solutions across industries.  Presenters included representatives from AGCO, Infor, Miami-Dade County, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), and Webalo

The annual Digital Transformation Council (DTC) meeting was also enlightening, with participants sharing their thoughts about how best to advance digital transformation initiatives.  Included was the sharing of information on such topics as identifying factors that drive digital transformation initiatives, suggested starting points for implementation, mistakes to be avoided, and identifying key obstacles to adoption.  Also discussed were primary themes and timetables for DTC workgroup deliverables.         

Daring to Fail Fast

Not that all projects prove successful in all cases.  A common theme across several presentations was the need for digital transformation evaluations that allow for swift assessments of the likely success of new initiatives.  This can help leaders gain important insight quickly and make meaningful decisions about experimental initiatives – including whether to continue forward with the current plan.  Attendees were told that “failing fast” can often make sense and can be part of the process of seeking continuous improvements. The key point is that admitting failure (or sub-optimum results) should not be considered a weakness, so long as lessons are learned, and new approaches are viable. 

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Looking Forward to the 2020 ARC Industry Forum

From the comments offered and looks on their faces of the nearly 1,000 conference attendees, this year’s event was a rousing success.  By and large, they were open, inquisitive, and engaged.  And, with industry experts from around the globe, and from most every industry, discussions included much depth and breadth.  This energy portends much interaction for ARC clients in 2019, and another great event in 2020.       

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