Software’s role in global enablement
While it’s often said that software is consuming the world, a more accurate depiction in recent times might be that software is “enabling” the world.
As enterprise architectures increasingly adopt software-controlled models, these controls provide new levels of resilience and agility, allowing businesses to adapt to evolving geopolitical tensions and economic contractions.
Global disruption on an unprecedented scale
Recent global upheavals have highlighted the vulnerability of supply chains and their susceptibility to unpredictable influences.
Organisations frequently need to adapt to new realities at short notice, whether due to sanctions, fluctuating energy prices, or access disruption. Notable shortages and delays in supply have impacted industries such as construction, automotive, and even food supplies. In Singapore alone, supply chain disruptions have cost the economy US$2.6 billion per year.
Modelling, planning, and pivoting
To manage these scenarios, enterprises need resilience and agility, along with greater oversight and insight to model, plan, and pivot.
This necessitates software systems that connect every aspect of the operation, making them visible, measurable, and manageable.
Simply reporting on enterprise-wide operations will no longer suffice. To compete and survive, enterprises will need to model and predict how necessary changes will affect output, profitability, and sustainability goals.
The 20-30-50 model
To achieve this new level of visibility and control, new architectures are emerging.
Future enterprise architectures are expected to comprise a mix of 20% core data centres, 30% public cloud, and 50% edge deployments within the next three years.
This shift will introduce new levels of sensors (IIoT), monitoring, visibility, management, and analysis. Cloud-based systems will manage these new architectures, encompassing elements from manufacturing lines, retail floors, and healthcare bedsides, to edge deployments, regional data facilities, and central data centres.
These expectations look promising in the medium-to-long term outlook for the technology sector. As noted by Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, the use of technological tools like data analytics remains modest, with only about 1 in 10 companies having adopted such solutions.
The foundation of this approach will be not just visibility of data, but orchestration of the data infrastructure, with the emerging capabilities of DCIM 3.0.
A significant aspect of this new, software-enabled world is the deep integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).
Resilience is achieved through reliability and predictability. Predictive analytics, through the deep application of these technologies, can enable highly effective preventative maintenance regimes that can detect or prevent failures before they impact operations.
Adapting with insight
An example of this is in the food industry, where Singapore aims to produce 30% of its nutritional needs domestically by 2030. With less than 1% of its land available for farming, vertical and urban farming has proven key to growing food in the land-scarce country in a climate resilient and efficient manner.
With a full sensor deck, from pot to shelf, growers can model temperature changes, predict yields and crop changes, and understand where cost optimisation needs to be adopted. By processing the data close to where it is produced, before central modelling crunches the numbers, growers can adapt labour, transportation, and distribution requirements, based on accurate data and informed analytics.
Similarly, Chew’s Agriculture, one of Singapore’s leading egg producers, improved its operational resilience and business efficiency by utilising digital solutions and advanced data analytics. This, along with other technologies, resulted in operational cost savings of nearly 25% a year after these solutions were implemented.
These approaches to data gathering and initial analysis are only possible through the seamless integration of edge capabilities with central data resources, through data infrastructure management, from DCIM to data lakes and AI-driven analytics.
In connecting all the connection points between the user and applications, security and risk must be considered.
End-to-end digital transformations
A digitally enabled, connected network of operations can bring about improved efficiencies and reduced risks of disruptions, culminating in a more resilient organisation. However, these benefits can only be unlocked when IT and operations are embedded into the heart of corporate strategy.
By aligning technology with operational goals, businesses can optimise processes, streamline workflows, and enhance overall efficiency. Automation and digitalisation can enable real-time monitoring and data-driven decision-making, providing organisations with valuable insights into their operations and enabling them to proactively address potential risks and disruptions.
Enabling the world
Despite the pace of technological change, software systems and controls, building on developments in IIoT, AI and ML, and cloud and edge computing, are enabling enterprises to have greater visibility, insight, and oversight of operations.
This is providing a level of resilience previously not possible to cope with the myriad of influences in today’s world.