Digital Reinvention

Digital Destiny of Automotive Industry

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I was sitting in the car on my way to office, being peak hours, the road ahead was full of vehicles. I was obviously sitting helpless. To make good use of my time, I started mentally running through my days’ task. I then remembered that I had a deadline, among many others, from my daughter, to buy sports gear that I dare miss. I started thinking of how digital technologies have shaped our lives, helped us become more efficient, pack many more into 16 hours of our waking time. But here, I am sitting and staring at the line of cars ahead of me, lamenting on wasting productive time and with nothing to do. That got me think a little bit more, on how digital technologies have started to upended the automotive industry. Disruptive forces are not only driving transformation but they are driving re-invention in every industry. An industry that was formerly based solely on a business model of car ownership, is fundamentally redefining itself into a multifaceted digital ecosystem, much to the relief of each commuter, who spend endless hours on roads. In fact, in a recent study from the IBM Institute for Business Value, 80 percent of executives said “comprehensive connected vehicle services” will be a key differentiator for consumers.

Customer expectations are creating new paradigm for how people travel. No longer does personal mobility mean personal ownership. How time is spent inside the vehicle will become a dominant differentiator. According to another study by IBM Institute for Business Value on How Indian consumers want cars to fit their lives, Consumers from India who ranked themselves higher in digital maturity have greater expectations for the new digital innovations in vehicle and mobility services. Indian consumers want the convenience of cars but are looking for new options beyond the traditional ownership model. Ninety-one percent of Indian consumers surveyed expect to own a car sometime during the next ten years.

The Industry is challenged continuously with extreme personalization in all customer interactions. Vehicles will become an integrated device in a person’s portfolio. Hence, capturing an individual’s personal mobility persona will provide the foundation to create exceptional customer experience. Exploiting the data to create new opportunities be it internal, or with the ecosystem developing new products and services will become even more important to excel.

Today’s car manufacturers and suppliers face intense competition from startups and internet companies with new business models, agile processes and rapid releases. To innovate and scale, it is imperative to combine the creative skills of a startup with the traditional strengths of an industrial enterprise.

Today’s automotive consumers expect seamless, customized auto experiences. As their personal mobility expectations grow, OEMs are turning to companies that offer digital mobility services to help them with tasks such as dealing with traffic, parking or simply getting from place to place. Having direct access to customers through a digital platform with a diverse product and service ecosystem creates opportunities for new revenue streams. Ride sharing, e-hailing, subscription pricing and platform marketplaces are a few examples of monetization opportunities that have emerged through digital technologies.

Digital technologies are redefining possibilities in the automotive industry –

AI is advancing new business models and acting as an engine for mobility learning and personalization, Cloud is enabling the industry move beyond legacy with app modernization and enabling connected vehicles, Microservices is enabling seamless collaboration with the ecosystem, Blockchain and IoT are enabling business model innovations and excellence in  operational processes and cybersecurity protecting consumer, employee and enterprise data.

With the pace of disruption all around and where the last and the best customer experience anywhere becomes the minimum expectation, automotive companies are looking at innovation as an ongoing process just like a factory set-up. Such a continuous and rapid improvement of products and services require a technical platform that can meet the needs for project setup, implementation, integration, quality assurance and operations in terms of DevOps and microservices.

The best platform should include:

Microservices, which can be quickly adapted from existing functions to comprehensive applications to significantly reduce the time-to-market.

Cloud infrastructures, which can enable an almost frictionless dissemination of working outcomes and their transformation into scalable operation.

DevOps support, which provides the frame- work for development teams to realize the iterative product innovation cycle of “develop— learn — improve” with greater autonomy.

Agile organizations begin their reinvention journey by asking themselves, what digital products and services resonate in the market with the brand values, How to enable a platform business model and thus embracing the partner ecosystem and finally how to scale and generate revenues as an ongoing process.

This needs a blend of agile and an inter disciplinary team that can make product changes using focused technical approaches supported by a strong technical platform.

Do join us at the ET Auto – Connected Vehicle Conclave ’18, on Oct 26th, at ITC Gardenia, Bengaluru to hear IBM experts speak, learn from interesting panel discussions, see exciting demos, know more about IBM solutions and of course, network with IBMers! We look forward to meeting you soon!

By the way, did you know that IBM is responsible for running four out of every five airline reservations worldwide, nine of every 10 global credit card transactions, the protocol used by just about every Internet of Things device in the world (MQTT), and tens of billions of secure transactions every day?

That’s why I am excited to be part of the next wave as much as you are in AI, IoT, Cloud, Security and Blockchain as they continue to change the world.

Cloud Portfolio and Watson IoT Marketing Leader - India/SA

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