Cloud Strategy Discussion with Siemens SVP Brenda Discher (Video)

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Why is cloud adoption for product innovation and engineering software picking up momentum? This episode of Tech-Clarity TV focuses on the reasons cloud adoption for product innovation and engineering is increasing. Tech-Clarity’s Jim Brown and Siemens’ SVP of Business Strategy & Marketing Brenda Discher discuss the value of cloud adoption, including how the cloud supports new ways of working and digital transformation.

Learn more from our guest blog series on the value of the cloud for product innovation and engineering or get more information about Siemens Cloud Solutions from Siemens Digital Industries Software.

Transcript:

Jim Brown:
Cloud adoption for product innovation and engineering software started more slowly than it did in some other industries, but now it’s really starting to pick up steam. Why is that the case? I’m here at Siemens today to get some clarity.

Jim Brown:
Hi, my name’s Jim Brown. I’m the President of Tech-Clarity where we make the business value of technology clear. Today I’m joined by Brenda Discher of Siemens, a Senior Vice president and a long-term friend and industry veteran. And we’re going to talk about this transition of product innovation and engineering software to the cloud, so I’m excited to have you as a guest.

Brenda Discher:
I am excited to be here. Thank you for coming in and seeing us. It’s good to see you.

Jim Brown:
Absolutely. Let’s start with the value of why are we seeing this transition to the cloud? In our research we see the traditional values. Can we say traditional with cloud? I guess we can now for things-

Brenda Discher:
Yeah, we can.

Jim Brown:
… that had been for CRM and ERP, the implementation benefits, the operational benefits, some business and cost benefits, the things that lower the barriers to entry and operating software. We see those, but there’s also some really special things that we see for product innovation and engineering software in the cloud, and we also see it enabling new business strategies and really having some more strategic benefit. How do you look at this transition to the cloud? Is it just a change in infrastructure, or is there something more to it?

Brenda Discher:
It’s funny. I would say some customers that are early on in their adoption they still start from the point of cost of infrastructure, cost of IT, but customers that are actually really thinking about the value and when we really get engaged in a conversation about value, the paradigm shift in new workflows and different ways of working really result in where I think the real ROI is. You have customers who are thinking about our customers who have really large datasets. Think about the aerospace or the automotive industry where if I want to simulate different variations and I want to actually understand something in field how it’s operating, to be able to do that now multiple of those types of simulations in the cloud while an engineer is actually iterating through on a desktop.

That’s actually feasible today. That workflow can be enabled, or they can choose to do it sequentially, like in the traditional manner, so there’s just a brand new workflow. The power of that capability is available, or there are workflows like IOT where you’re trying to understand the analytics on a machine in the field and bring that capability or that insight back into an organization to be able to predict or modify a design or a process. That can’t happen without the cloud. That’s a brand new process, so we see all different spectrums, and we see customers at different levels of adoption.

Jim Brown:
Talking about IoT, we actually did some research to understand how important is digital transformation for industrial companies to really meet their business strategy. We saw that the vast majority, basically two-thirds of companies, said that digitalization was important to their business strategy, and a third of them said it was actually critical, so we’re definitely seeing the need and the pull for business to take this digitalization.

Brenda Discher:
Take action.

Jim Brown:
Absolutely. What do you see the relationship for product innovation and engineering software moving to the cloud? How does that enable digitalization? Is it important?

Brenda Discher:
I love this research, so I’d love to see more about it. We believe actually for most CIOs to be relevant in all the industries we talked to today digitalization has to be on their agenda. They all have a transformation initiative around making the enterprise a digital enterprise. We Siemens, if you think about our history, where we came from and you think about manufacturing and factory as our roots, but then moving into where we are today with software, this digital transformation is absolutely what we believe a game-changer. But what’s interesting is, yes, cloud is part of that. Cloud’s a key enabler, but it’s also really about thinking about new ways of working and enabling that and really thinking about where and how am I going to implement this technology in a way that I either need to adapt a current process, try a new process, or actually rethink the way something’s done altogether.

It forces a change and actually is driving some really interesting innovation on the backend. Back to your IoT example earlier. We have a customer in Israel. They’re a valve manufacturer, and they have valves that are sitting out on the shop floor. The valves were failing and actually was causing an issue on the shop floor. Due to the cloud and due to the way that they actually implemented IoT, they were able to predict when that valve may fail and get in in advance and make a change. Not only did that enable a big change for that company, the valve manufacturer is now selling factory uptime, so talk about a business model changes and enabler of cloud, so kind of a cool way to go round trip on it.

Jim Brown:
Yeah, absolutely.

Brenda Discher:
It’s pretty cool.

Jim Brown:
Those are really the strategic business changing events we’re seeing too. From a vendor perspective, one of the things that we’ve seen this transition both from the industrial company side but also from the vendor side, and from an industrial company, we’re actually recommending to them now that they should highly consider that their product innovation and engineering software company have a cloud strategy. Just because we see this as a fundamental shift, we see this as the new direction that software is moving, and that if their vendor is not moving this direction, even if they’re one of those people that is saying, “We’re not ready for the cloud, or we don’t want the cloud,” it’s important for their vendor to really be relevant going forward.

Brenda Discher:
Have a strategy.

Jim Brown:
How do you see that transition for your customers?

Brenda Discher:
First off, we have a cloud strategy. We’ve had a cloud strategy for a few years. I think what’s important is for the vendor and the customer to really think about what is right for the customer. I don’t know that every traditional model or new model should be forced onto a customer. Our strategy and the way we’re rolling out what we’re doing, whether it’s cloud-deployed products, whether it’s products in the cloud and products on the desktop and having that workflow-enabled, we’re really letting the customer choose, and we’re trying to give the customers ultimate flexibility, so they pick the processes, or the workflows, or the places where they want to adopt this technology so that it works for them and their process.

And where we want to rethink a process to actually go on a different trajectory with maybe an innovation initiative, we’re happy to do that too, but we’re not forcing a single business model or a single platform. We’re quite open. We’ve always been pretty open. That’s actually an advantage of Siemens. We’re willing to work at their pace, at their level, and their way, how they want to adopt. We ultimately have a pretty robust cloud strategy, but not every piece is right for every customer. That’s our job is to really make it right for them.

Jim Brown:
Brenda, thank you. It’s so good to see you again.

Brenda Discher:
Great to see you.

Jim Brown:
Thank you for sharing. Thank you for joining us today. If you’d like to learn more, you can watch the rest of this video series. We have a series of posts and blog posts, guest posts on Siemens that you can watch or take a look at and also plenty more of our research and Siemens. There’s a wealth of knowledge on transition to the cloud. Thank you very much.

Brenda Discher:
Thank you.