When Siemens global CEO Joe Kaeser spoke of digitalization at the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting 2015, and said, “We are getting our company ready for the future and the changes it holds,” I couldn’t help but reflect on the changes I have seen since I began my career at Siemens AG as a young electrical engineer in 1988.
Back then most of us had heard of computers, but few of us had any practical experience with them. Email existed, but was not in popular usage.
The changes to our world since then have been profound. Most significant of these has been a growing digitalization – the integration of digital technologies into everyday life and industry. Siemens has prepared for this digital transformation, positioning the company across the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization.
Last Wednesday I attended a product launch from our Digital Factory division and was pleased to be able to hear all the product presentations. I was impressed with our people, and afterwards, got great customer feedback. It’s a good example of how we are already bringing these products to the markets and our customers. By integrating the virtual world with the real one to meet the requirements of Industry 4.0, we are creating a sustainable competitive advantage for our customers.
The digital transformation will be on display globally in the next couple of weeks during the Hanover Messe in Germany, the world’s biggest industrial trade fair. Siemens, as one of the world’s largest technology companies, will be there, front and centre, and this includes some of our people from Canada.
The broad overview at the fair showing the latest future-defining manufacturing concepts, systems and IT solutions, is unmatched by any other trade fair. In short, it’s our chance to show what we can do in areas such as the digital factory.
With our comprehensive portfolio of automation technology, industrial switchgear, and industry software and services, Siemens is a trusted partner to customers in the manufacturing industry worldwide. The integration of products and production lifecycles along the value chain and the merger of the real and digital worlds are creating future-proof automation solutions from design and engineering to operation, production and service.
Digitalization gives us the opportunity to expand our leading market position by merging the virtual with the physical world. No other company is as well-positioned to do this, and to bring value to our customers, than Siemens. We can leverage our vertical know-how and customer access; one of our key competitive advantages is our in-depth industry expertise and the existing relationships we have with our customers. We have extensive knowledge of their systems and processes, not to mention a huge existing physical installed base.
We have played a pioneering role in the automation revolution that is transforming both advanced manufacturing and power generation, using technologies such as data analytics, the cloud and the Internet of Things to drive efficiency and reliability.
To thrive in a digitalization environment, speed is essential because the landscape is constantly changing. Digitalization gives us a golden opportunity to expand and further develop our core business but only when we keep an eye on our competitors and focus on the needs of our customers.