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The tools and techniques IT departments have mastered to manage diverse technological infrastructure are now being applied to manage machines, in what some experts refer to as Industry 4.0.
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If enterprise resource planning (ERP) and supply chain management (SCM) software drove efficiencies in manufacturing, analysis of data collected from internet-connected machines is set to revolutionise industrial processes, putting IT at the core of operations.
Read more about industrial digitalisation
The GE Predix platform is now positioned as an operating system to run industrial machines more efficientl.
Big data is a fitting match for IT operations management, where the endless logs and events finally add up to more efficiency and less troubleshooting
A platform approach
Pitney Bowes specialises in high-volume mailing machines designed to send out thousands of letters per hour. Typically, its inserter machines are used for large mailing operations, such as when a bank or insurance firm sends out paperwork to its customers. The machines make sure the right letter is put in the right envelope and sent to the right person.
IT best practice for machine management
Scheduling and capacity planning have analogies in IT. Prior to Pitney Bowes, Pilc spent 10 years in IT management, heading up the datacentres at two software providers. “Those disciplines that have existed in IT are now being used in industry,” he says.
In this age of operational IT, there are new pioneers providing software platforms and applications. These organisations, like GE and Pitney Bowes, have not traditionally been associated with IT. And more organisations are set to join them as Industry 4.0 gains momentum.