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Many manufacturers focus on the physical product, with data a secondary concern. But data is key to successful digital transformation, and a data-first approach can maximize the rewards.

What does digital transformation look like in Manufacturing? For many firms, it means automating existing processes and moving key business applications to the cloud—and these approaches can certainly pay dividends in terms of operational efficiencies and lower costs. 

But making existing operations more efficient is more of an ‘evolution’ than a ‘transformation’. The key to real, game-changing transformation is to unlock the value of an asset that all manufacturers have, but few yet use to its fullest potential: data. 

“Digital transformation doesn't start with an application, and it certainly doesn't start with a platform. It starts with data.”– Andrew Rawling, Chief Technology Officer, Manufacturing, Logistics, Energy and Utilities, Cognizant UKI

Read the interview: How to go ‘data-first’ in Manufacturing

Used well, data can become a hugely valuable asset that can be packaged to deliver new revenue streams, or even drive new business models. But that means taking a data-first approach to digital transformation—something that doesn’t always come naturally to companies used to physical products.

In a recent interview with The Manufacturer, Cognizant’s Niraj Seth and Andrew Rawling discuss how manufacturers can go data-first and reap the rewards of true digital transformation. Read the interview here.

Be sure to watch out for the next instalment of this series “Making data work in Manufacturing: Getting started with data governance.”

Niraj Seth

Head of Manufacturing, Logistics, Energy & Utilities, UK&I, Cognizant

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