Future of Industry Ecosystems: Shared Data and Insights

Shared Data and Insights are Making Organizations More Resilient, Flexible and Profitable
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IDC estimates there will be 55.7 billion connected IoT devices (or “things”) by 2025, generating almost 80B zettabytes (ZB) of data; organizations continue to connect their internal processes across roles on a digital platform; and these same industry organizations are realizing the importance of expanding their ecosystems to meet market and customer need, and be more flexible and resilient. Additionally, IDC predicts that over 60% of G2000 organizations will be digitally dependent by 2021, and almost 80% in some industries by 2023 – leading to a massive increase in the data flow across and between organizations within industry ecosystems.

It is more data, information, and knowledge than any single entity can reasonably be expected to analyze and benefit from. Organizations also realize their limitations in resources, knowledge, and skills, and that sometimes the crowd, or the ecosystem, collectively makes better decisions that a small, internal data analytics group can provide. Hence, organizations in finance, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and government are realizing the benefit of sharing data and knowledge, to improve resiliency, efficiency, and data monetization. 

By sharing data, organization can realize greater quality and safety of products and customer experiences, proactive servicing, and better customer experiences, more efficient supply chain execution, as well as faster and better product and software innovation. When data is shared to digital environments like, for example, Skywise for aviation safety and service, or The International Money-Laundering Information Network (IMoLIN) for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism, or The Global Health Network for vaccine development, that piece of information combines with other contributions and builds value for all participating members exponentially.

Why Would Ecosystem Participants Work in This Way?

A primary question might be, why would ecosystem participants work in this way? In short, the answers are resiliency, flexibility, and growth. We share in the blog, The Future of Industry Ecosystems: Built on the Platform and Sharing Economy, in more detail why it is critical to adopt industry ecosystem models in order for companies to succeed in the digitally transformed, disrupted world we live in today.

Companies need to constantly balance the stability of their organization (running the business effectively) with vitality (enabling innovation and expansion). This is a difficult balance to achieve, one that an industry ecosystem can augment and enable. This augmentation could help to meet market and customer need, ideate and develop new products and services, and/or advance new technology. This could also be for the good of, or safety, of patients (healthcare), citizens (government), or consumers (CPG, automotive, A&D). 

For example, sharing information about new viruses or medical device quality issues; sharing traffic, parking, and mapping information to a city or town database for public consumption; sharing food safety issues, sourcing, and supply chain provenance information to consumers for quality and safety validation.

Making use of data from connected products is another key reason for working in conjunction with ecosystem partners to share data and insights. A prime example is what AWS is doing in the automotive industry, in concert with VW, Ford, and Toyota: the OEM provides the data from connected vehicles, or operations processes, and AWS builds the cloud platform for data processing and analytics. 

The end use of this knowledge is a variety of services for vehicle owners and their passengers, whether they own the vehicle or are using a shared form of transportation. The information could also be used for improved design and engineering. In the case of VW, AWS is providing the platform for the VW industrial cloud, to track manufacturing and supply chain efficiency. Microsoft Azure is taking a similar approach with their Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform (MCVP), working with VW as the platform for the VW automotive cloud, as well as Ericsson for IVI (in vehicle infotainment), and TomTom for mapping data analysis and federation.

Hedging against disruption and establishing resiliency to address dynamic markets and demand, weather, geopolitical, and black swan events like a pandemic is another important reason why data sharing, and associated insights, are critical. Of course, to deliver value to industry ecosystem participants from data sharing, insights and options need to be presented that provide information and analysis to quickly make the next best decision. Participating members in an ecosystem have their area of expertise and knowledge and may share agreed upon sets of data.  But, they also need to analyze the data and provide insights to the ecosystem so the knowledge is consumable, and collaboration can happen freely, vs. just dumping data and knowledge into a data lake.

It is important to note that not all data and insights are likely candidates for collaborating and sharing in an industry ecosystem. There are datasets and insights that are mutually beneficial to the ecosystem participants, and those that are proprietary and sources of competitive advantages. The ecosystem can save time, effort and cost in gathering foundational data and in pooling data that can illuminate threats and opportunities across the community. In some cases, the insights from this data could also be pooled – such as expected geographically-based risk events or product safety issues, while for other use cases, the data is pooled but the insights are derived individually by different participants according to their own proprietary methods aligned with their strategic goals. 

Achieving Resiliency and Innovation

In the new high-speed, dynamic reality of digital and the corresponding information and knowledge deluge, shared data & insight is a must-have strategy and set of tools to enable companies to innovate and grow through an evidence-based culture across their industry ecosystem. No longer is it enough to have a disparate set of reporting and analytics tools that provide a historical view of innovation, operation, organizational processes, and resource progress; this view has to be complemented with a live, near-real time flow of information and knowledge that spans the organization, as well as cross-industry partner and customer ecosystem. Within your industry ecosystem, sharing this data can make your organization more resilient, flexible, and profitable – and the insights gleaned from multiple sources of shared data in the industry ecosystem become exponentially richer the more participants there are.

To learn more, click the button below to access the IDC Perspective, Future of Industry Ecosystems: Shared Data and Insights, where we discuss why shared data and insight is a must-have strategy and how to unlock the set of tools needed to enable companies to innovate and grow through an evidence-based culture across their industry ecosystem. 

Jeffrey Hojlo leads one of the nine new Future Enterprise practices at IDC - the Future of Industry Ecosystems. This practice focuses on three areas that help create and optimize trusted industry ecosystems and next generation value chains in discrete and process manufacturing, construction, healthcare, retail, and other industries: shared data & insight, shared applications, and shared operations & expertise. After starting his career in the CPG industry, Jeffrey has worked for the past 26 years in the IT industry at start-ups and established global companies. Jeffrey is a frequent speaker, presenter, and moderator at industry events. He is regularly cited within industry publications on design, engineering/R&D, manufacturing, innovation, & industry ecosystems.