Thought Leadership

Top Thought Leadership topics of 2016

By ToniB

As 2016 comes to a close, we wanted to take some time to reflect on what our Thought Leadership blog has accomplished since its launch in April. We’ve been able to highlight some of the great work our colleagues are doing to address challenges in today’s market and to ensure Siemens PLM customers have successful, future-proof businesses. As the editor-in-chief of this blog, it’s been a fun and informative journey to share with you. 

We want to extend a sincere thank you to our readers. Without you, Digital Transformations would not have found the success it has. We appreciate the time you’ve taken to follow what our Thought Leaders are doing, and we hope you’ll continue to have exciting conversations with us about what you see happening now that will influence the future.

Throughout the year, we’ve followed the response to our posts both on the blog and on social media to see which topics were resonating with readers. These are the five most popular Thought Leadership topics of 2016. 

#5: Digitalization Thought Leadership

Revolutions are disruptive, and we’re in the middle of one right now. The market is so competitive that any company with a disruptive innovation can knock decades-old leaders out of the market for good. Traditional business models are being upended everywhere. Is your company safe from being the next one to be ousted from the market? Unless you’ve incorporated digitalization into your business, no. 

In his overview of how digitalization is changing everything in every industry, Jeff Nercesian takes a closer look at how digitalization helps companies future-proof their business. Becoming a digital enterprise, complete with a digital thread for optimizing assets, can help companies create strategies flexible enough to react to market shifts – and Siemens PLM is the only company with the technology to help companies make that happen. 

Digitalization_Image 2.jpgPresident Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel learned how Siemens is changing the game with digitalization at this year’s Hannover Fair.

#4: Industry 4.0 Thought Leadership

This new Industrial Revolution focuses on applying digital technologies from the business world to the manufacturing world. In Industry 4.0, fixed factories become flexible. Machines and products can communicate with each other. The products themselves include the intelligence for how to be made. All of this is done faster than ever, and with greater accuracy and high rates of perfection.

In their discussion of Industry 4.0, Alastair Orchard and Helmuth Ludwig take readers through a journey to see how we came to this fourth Industrial Revolution. By looking through history, companies see how quickly the stragglers disappear from the market – and they’ll vanish even faster in Industry 4.0. But companies don’t have to go through the transformation alone: Siemens has already gone through its own transformation and can be a valuable partner throughout the process. Industry 4-0_Image 2.jpgIndustry 4.0 applies digital technologies from the business world to the manufacturing world.

#3: Additive manufacturing Thought Leadership

Disruptive technology can revolutionize how products are designed, engineered, manufactured and distributed – and additive manufacturing is a leading example of disruptive technology. Its impact on the product lifecycle should worry and excite companies: worry, if they haven’t acknowledged or embraced its potential, and excite, if they look at the numerous possibilities and benefits additive manufacturing can offer.

In his overview of additive manufacturing, Andreas Saar discusses how on-demand printing is a huge factor driving companies toward additive manufacturing and why companies are looking at the technology to get a competitive edge in the market. He also discusses additive manufacturing’s impact on Siemens PLM and some of the work the company is doing to help its customers leverage the technology’s functionality. Additive manufacturing_Image 1.jpgAdditive manufacturing is a disruptive technology that should worry AND excite companies.

#2: Reverse engineering Thought Leadership

You’ve surely encountered bottlenecks when you design and engineer products, and those bottlenecks are frustrating. Speeding up tasks during the process is a good way to lower the chance of bottlenecks happening, but eliminating those tasks is better. This is where Convergent Modeling comes in.

In his review of the technology, George Allen explores how Convergent Modeling creates a new workflow that eliminates the surfacing step traditionally seen in reverse engineering. The capability, which is available throughout the NX package, creates a more efficient reverse engineering process and can help companies get their products to the market faster than ever. Convergent Modeling_Image 3.pngConvergent Modeling proves that eliminating tasks can be more efficient than speeding them up.

#1: Cars of the future Thought Leadership

This topic continues to gain a following, thanks to Ed Bernardon’s efforts to highlight make sure people in the automotive industry have a platform to share what they see happening with autonomous cars, composite materials and mobility as a service.

Ed’s conversations with visionaries in the industry have highlighted new issues and consequences with designing these future cars, including new ethical questions about autonomous technology that engineers must face, how PLM software must change to address shorter product lifecycles and how cityscapes could transform if mobility services erase the demand for parking spaces and structures.

Ed is continuing to lead new conversations with a number of visionaries to share how cars of the future will transform the market, and as his posts continue highlighting these new ideas, we have no doubt his following will expand even more in 2017. Cars of the Future_Image 1.jpgThe possibilities that cars of the future could bring to the market inspires conversations in our readership.

Tell us: What was your favorite Thought Leadership topic to read about this year? What do you think we should highlight next year? 

About the author
Toni Boger is the editor-in-chief of Digital Transformations, the Thought Leadership blog for Siemens PLM Software. As the marketing coordinator and content strategist for the Siemens PLM Thought Leadership initiative, she oversees the content creation, management, publication and promotion for all content in the initiative. She graduated from Saginaw Valley State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication and English. Prior to joining Siemens, Toni worked as an associate site editor for TechTarget, a technology media company.

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