“Digital Transformation – it used to be called PLM,” said Aras CEO Peter Schroer, as he opened the conference with some thoughts around attaining sustainable Digital Transformation and owning the lifecycle.  Microsoft was the Customer Spotlight this morning and they reminded us that “the PLM journey is never done.”  Peter covered a list of myths around digital transformation (DX) and the three most surprising to me were:

Myth #1: DX leverages disruptive tech

It’s easy to get excited about AI, AR, and the 3D visual experience. However, let’s be real. The first step is to get rid of your spreadsheets and paper documentation – to get an accurate product data baseline. We’re not just talking a digital CAD model, but data that includes access to performance data, as-built parts, and previous maintenance work history for everyone from technicians to product managers.

 Myth #2: DX results in increased market share, revenue and profit

Though there’s a lot of talk about it – there isn’t yet any compelling data which proves this to be true. Our goal at Aras is to make our products safer and faster. To support a whole suite of industrial applications to extend your DX strategy quite a bit further.

Myth #3: Market leaders are the most successful at DX

If your company is hugely profitable at the moment, it’s highly likely that your organization is NOT focused on Digital Transformation. The lifespan of S&P 500 companies continuing to shrink below 20 years.

How to Attain Sustainable Digital Transformation

  • Stop buying disposable systems. It’s about an adaptable platform – it needs to change as your company changes.
  • Think incremental. Do not lose momentum. Continuous change is a multi-phase journey. If you are in or completed phase I, then that means there is a phase II, a phase III, and so on.
  • Align people & processes.  Mistakes will happen, “the tech side is only 50% of DX” – Aras CEO.

Final Takeaway: It’s About Owning The Product Lifecycle

Aras is picking up momentum, growing by 50% as a company the last two years. We’re more customer-focused, expanding globally, revamping our software development process and bringing new partners on board.

When you think DX, think less about content and more about intent. Managing content is interesting but not sufficient. Co-mingle your content with workflow analysis so the intent behind the content is clear – and not just to the person who created it. Why was the change made? Who approved it and why?

This is what owning the lifecycle is about – visibility and understanding of the full story behind the life of your product. No stones left unturned. No safety or security compromises.

I’ll leave you with a quote that encompasses what we at Aras believe.

“The lines between hardware, software, and services are blurred or are disappearing. The only way you can pull this off is when everyone is working together well. And not just working together well but almost blending together so that you can’t tell where people are working anymore, because they are so focused on a great experience that they are not taking functional views of things.” – Tim Cook 

As an IT leader in your industry, it’s time to wade out of the swamps of data and create impactful and meaningful digital changes in your company.

Looking forward to the days ahead at ACE 2019!

ACE Aras community