Industrie 4.0 stands for the digitalisation of manufacturing companies.
On the one hand, this is made possible thanks to the exponential development of appropriate digitalisation solutions. On the other, it is required by the markets: more and more customers are demanding customised products with smart features or new, digitally supported services. Industrie 4.0 can do just that: it makes companies more flexible and fosters innovation, but also necessitates cooperation in order to do so. Consequently, this development requires the formation of appropriate ecosystems, which are organised via digital platforms. It is only these systems which enable an efficient division of labour, the participation of customers and cooperative efforts with partners across industries. It is only on this basis that individualised products can be produced up to lot size 1 at mass production cost levels.
Companies must therefore be open and ready to enter into new partnerships, share their value chains and know-how, and to break apart silos and traditional organisational structures. Why is this necessary? The implementation of Industrie 4.0 projects is complex. It requires industry-wide industrial and technology expertise, as well as creativity, courage and determination in the face of new concepts. All this, combined with the desire to change, to risk and to invest. Today, no single company can do this alone anymore. Therefore, trustworthy, strong partnerships are becoming a matter of survival. The motto reads: share knowledge, experiences and ideas. This applies to large corporations as well as to medium- sized and smaller organizations.
Trustworthy, strong partnerships are becoming a matter of survival.
We, IBM, are ready to invest in the IoT as well as the related ecosystems and partnerships. About three billion dollars are currently flowing into the topic. This also includes our global Watson IoT Headquarters in Munich, which was opened at the beginning of the year. Its primary goal is to work with partners to further explore the technical and economic potential of the Internet of Things (IoT). The Watson IoT Center is thus our key platform for partners, startups, universities and customers to develop innovative solutions for our customers together with our experts. In addition, the official launch of a global innovation ecosystem took place in Munich. In this global ecosystem, we also bring together the research, design and development teams from our partners and customers with our
own engineers, architects and consultants with the intention to explore the potential for transformation through cognitive IoT technologies.
In addition, we offer a broad product and Cloud portfolio designed to get Industrie 4.0 projects up and running – with significant success. Our Cloud business is experiencing high growth rates, and in June 2017 our Internet-of-Things platform was rated the world's leading IoT platform by industrial analyst IDC, among others in terms of its integration capability and the large variety of functionality.