Quality and the Digital Enterprise

January 17, 2018

By Chris Thornton

 

What Digital Transformation Means for Quality Management

“The future is still so much bigger that the past.” – Sir Tim Berners-Lee

This is one of my favorite quotes, from Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventors of what we know as the World Wide Web. He said this in 2009, almost two decades after the Web became widely available. In that time, the Internet had dramatically impacted our everyday lives, and yet its full impact still has yet to be realized.

Even in the nine years since that quote, look at where we are with regards to the Internet of Things (IoT). Think about the exponential growth of the digital enterprise and the interconnectivity of devices controlling things used every day. Analysts predict that by 2020, there will be more than 50 billion connected devices, impacting industry and our daily lives. From mobile devices and wearable technology to cloud computing and IoT platforms, think about the data being generated and how it’s being leveraged to gain business insights and create new customer experiences. This is driving a digital transformation.

 

So, what does digital mean to quality? And what are the key components in this digital landscape? According to Gartner, there are four components:

Digital Platforms: This can be summarized as the combination of connections, bandwidth and intelligence. Connections can be between your company and your customers, or between you and your suppliers and contract manufacturers. The bandwidth – e.g. the Internet – makes those connections to ensure communication. And you have intelligence – human intelligence, stored knowledge, accumulated data.

API Enabled: This provides the ability to deliver new experiences through technology, through flexible integrations. Organizations can then provide new levels of innovation around existing products and service – and create new ones! 

Programmable: This is the logic that’s built-in – for example, “smart” things that have embedded business rules and logic.

Event-Driven: Something important occurs, an event is triggered. This is communicated as data, which then triggers an automated decision.

These components help organizations improve operational efficiencies and competitive advantage as they execute a digital transformation strategy for quality.

So how can you begin your journey of digital transformation? What does all this mean to you as a quality professional? I invite you to listen to my recent FDA News Webinar, “Uniting Digital Technology with Your Quality Data”, where I discussed the impact digital technology and IoT has in your quality ecosystem, and how you can augment your quality strategy for the future.

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