ifridays Innovation

IFRIDAYS: KEYS OF THE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION OF THE INDUSTRIAL SECTOR

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During the most recent iFriday, Daniel Carreño, President and CEO of General Electric in Spain and Portugal, presented his interesting vision of the digital transformation process facing the companies in the industrial sector.

As an expert, Carreño expounded on his perspective of the concept of ‘industrial Internet’. It is based on applying the so-called “Internet of Things” to productive processes that are critical to society, such as the safety of an aircraft engine in flight or operational continuity at a power plant. In fact, Carreño established interesting relationships between the evolution of the “Internet of Things” and big data or artificial intelligence.

Another key concept that was explained during his talk was that of additive manufacturing; this makes it possible to create highly customised products, manufacture large amounts of production parts and, what is more, achieve this by outsourcing, which hugely facilitates all the associated logistics.

From a more global perspective, Daniel Carreño said, “The enormous changes we are experiencing can be seen as opportunities or as threats. We have to aspire to providing ourselves with the greatest possible capacity to adapt to the environment, as the certainty level is getting increasingly smaller. And we have to move as fast as possible. Without the capacity to adapt, it is not possible to tackle the new realities and challenges”.

Furthermore, Carreño highlighted the increasing importance of alliances, as we live in an online society that faces a reality with common challenges that require collective action. In addition, we cannot identify the professions and responsibilities that will mark the future. Stemming from this is the constant need for talent as the key for success for the survival of a company. In this respect, it will be necessary for the business-university relation to become closer and closer and to come to understand our current competitors as potential partners in the various areas of mutual interest.

Lastly, Carreño highlighted that to achieve success in the digital transformation process, it is essential for the company’s corporate culture to be committed to integrity, autonomy, responsibility and performance assessment. For Carreño, if these values are not part of the company’s DNA, it will not be possible to achieve digital transformation to enable the firm not only to grow but to survive.

In the discussion session after the talk, we talked about to what extent, at General Electric and at Sacyr, we are leading the transformation in sectors that are traditionally more stable and far removed from the digital economy. In fact, at our companies we apply “digital aspects” to gain strengths in a constantly changing marketplace. Each and every one of us are part of an innovation ecosystem that makes it possible to generate new opportunities for the present and future by leveraging digital change.

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