Why Embedded Innovation Is Key to Digital Transformation

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Read more about author Kevin Miller.

“Digital transformation” is the hottest phrase of 2023, encapsulating everything from supply chain disruptions to the AI gold rush. It’s the challenge companies are undertaking to make sure they keep pace with today’s rapidly evolving technology and interconnected digital world. For business leaders, the biggest focus is on making sure their internal processes are intertwined and agile to create a more resilient business in today’s unpredictable world. Companies are up against fluctuating supply chains, unpredictable natural disasters, and an economy battered by a global pandemic and its ripple effects. Fortunately, embedded innovation allows companies to optimize the information (both open source and proprietary data) and technology they have to make better business decisions and outcomes. 

This year, we’re starting to see the promises of technology – the AI developments science fiction from the ’50s could only dream of – start blossoming. It’s still too early to say with absolute certainty that generative AI is bearing fruit, but it’s opening the door to a vast world of possibilities. In response, companies are tasked with employing these developments to the fullest, which requires a more innovative approach to IT that integrates technology with business operations. 

Open-Sourced Information

There are two sources of data for business intelligence: private data collected on premise and publicly available data like weather and traffic information – the latter of which is often provided for free by the government. Turning to open-source information can give your business the edge in predicting the unpredictable, using predictive analytics based on historical patterns to prepare for times of uncertainty, such as through preventative maintenance before hurricane season.

Integrating IoT Data

The other source for data organizations often don’t use to the fullest extent is their own IoT data, often collected straight from the most important assets of a business: manufacturing floors, field machinery, commercial fleets. Using data that comes directly from these assets ensures real-time validation and compliance, faster maintenance, and more consistent turnaround times. Through embedded innovation, where the data comes together to create a more connected workforce, this can all be automated and scheduled, freeing up precious time and resources.

Embracing Embedded Innovation

With more information at our fingertips, we’re able to constantly increase our knowledge and level up our performance. The same applies for data and business intelligence. The more data your business collects and the more integrated your systems are, the more your business can achieve. 

One of the biggest fears of AI is that it will make certain jobs obsolete. Why hire a copywriter when you can get ChatGPT to write your website copy? Why hire a data scientist when you can input your needs directly into ChatGPT, which can then output a coherent response for free? Aside from the lack of second-party validation, which has infamously resulted in misinformed responses, AI won’t come for most jobs. The common misconception of AI is that it’s super-intelligent, one Age of Ultron away from being sentient, when it’s really an amalgamation of masses and masses of data. In short, it’s more like a parrot with 128 gigs of RAM.

Using AI in modern resource planning and asset management is one of the most imperative tasks for companies employing digital transformation strategies in 2023, and this will be the time for them to fully embrace embedded innovation. As Silicon Valley invests billions of dollars into the development of generative AI, the tools businesses have at their disposal will only increase in both number and value. Most of it comes from ensuring that IT is integrated into their business processes and that all of its data is connected in an orchestrated outcome.