The new Industrial Revolution: System Integrators speed the shift to next-generation technology

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Industrial companies are at a critical junction. They face increasing pressure to use resources wisely while meeting ambitious sustainability and emissions targets. Meeting climate goals depends on how quickly they can modernize and digitize operations with next-generation technologies—from energy management and real-time data analytics to smart manufacturing and AI-driven automation. The industrial sector produces about 40% of all GHG emissions globally, and this transformative shift to new technologies will speed the essential transition to more sustainable and innovative practices. With global temperatures forecasted to rise at least twice as fast in the next 100 years as the last century, it’s a race against time.

Software engineer explaining to controlling robotic welding process to welder in factory.
System integrators are key players in the successful adoption of new technologies.

System integrators (SI’s) are the key to accelerating the shift from legacy practices to advanced industrial digitalization. They enable progress, translate complex technology into tangible business benefits, and build a future where technological capability is essential. Their specialized expertise in combining hardware, software, and systems into efficient platforms makes them essential partners for end-user customers. As trusted advisors, SI’s bridge knowledge gaps. They provide cost-effective and domain-specific implementation strategies and understand the complexities of integrating new systems with legacy technologies.

SI’s are also fully versed in open, non-proprietary platforms like digital twins, (expected to provide $1.3 trillion in economic value and reduce 7.5 Gt of CO2 emissions by 2030), data analytics, AI and machine learning, and cloud computing. This technology can digitally mirror physical systems – from electrical networks and HVAC to supply chains – and allows us to test them and forecast how they will function, given different variables.

Asymmetrical technology adoption rates

Many industrial operations today are well-positioned to adopt this technology. However, the reality is that there’s no guarantee they can leverage it at the pace needed. The spectrum of companies grappling with these advancements varies widely. From early adopters to traditional end-user customers – each with unique integration challenges. So, the rate at which these companies adopt innovations varies significantly; some take months, while others potentially take up to a decade. This can be due to several factors:

  1. Knowledge gaps: End users often have varying levels of familiarity with new technologies like AI. Plus, industry veterans may need more time or inclination to invest in learning new systems.
  2. Financial constraints: The cost of implementing new technology can sometimes be prohibitive. The rapid pace of change can also cause hesitation, with concerns about the longevity and futureproofing of investments.
  3. Skill availability: Implementing and managing new technologies require specific skill sets that aren’t always available in the existing workforce. Workers with decades of experience are choosing to retire. This leaves many companies searching for new talent to fill those roles.
  4. Legacy systems: Significant capital investments in current technologies can make a company reluctant to upgrade to new systems. This creates isolated ‘silos’ where old and new technologies do not communicate or integrate effectively.

How system integrators speed the shift to next-gen technology

SI’s help overcome these barriers. Not only are they the bridge that supports end users, but they also become extensions of a company’s workforce. SI’s boost capabilities with specialized skills and technological agility that effectively broaden the scope and competency of existing teams with:

  • Educational support that helps end users understand and evaluate new technologies.
  • Cost management that provides strategic advice on how to integrate new technologies cost-effectively. This may mean recommending phased upgrades rather than complete overhauls.
  • Skill provision that brings specialized technical skills for implementing and managing new technologies and filling the gaps within client organizations.
  • Integration expertise that creates automation platforms and optimizes communication between legacy and new systems.

Alliance Partner Program: our commitment to system integrators

SI’s are the critical link between current industrial operations and the future possibilities offered by next-generation technologies. Our revamped Alliance partner program is designed to propel SI’s to the forefront of industry innovation with enhanced tools and support. By joining our program, SI’s access resources tailored to streamline project management, accelerate execution timelines, and reduce implementation costs. The new enhancements are built upon four foundational pillars:

  • Simplification: streamlined training, upskilling, and support to make collaboration easier;
  • Tangible value: new program benefits and broader partner opportunities that improve the larger ecosystem of industrial solutions;
  • Collaboration: partner community management improvements that cultivate a mutually beneficial environment for growth and learning, and
  • Expertise development: specialization expansions that allow SI’s to become knowledgeable segment and technology experts.

The future and the need for action

The transition towards a digital-first, non-proprietary market is happening now. There has been more innovation in the last twenty-four months than in the past twenty years. Generative AI will further shorten innovation cycles and accelerate the introduction of new technologies to the market. As the landscape changes even faster over the next five years, system integrators can benefit significantly from partnering with Schneider Electric. Our programs provide robust support and equip our partners with cutting-edge expertise to help them navigate and excel in these dynamic and competitive markets.

Collaborate with us

Modern digital technology is crucial for ensuring data-driven, more sustainable industrial operations. Discover our Alliance Partner program and join the ranks of those leading the charge toward a more sustainable future. Our system integrators have everything they need to help industries speed their transition with personalized tools, knowledge, and the best technological solutions available at mySchneider. Or, find an Alliance System Integrator Partner near you to start improving operations now.

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