Building Bridges in the World of Digital Manufacturing

The rapid advance of digital technologies has had profoundly positive impacts on the human condition, yet the gains have not always been distributed equitably. When it comes to access to current information and communications technology, for example, it’s still very much a world of haves and have nots. Just consider this finding: Almost half of the world’s population is still without Internet access.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is working to bridge this “digital divide,” in part by facilitating collaboration among organizations in the public and private sectors to accelerate digital transformation around the world. That’s a key goal of the UN-backed Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS).

GMIS was established in 2015 to build bridges among manufacturers, governments, multilateral organizations, technologists, the research community and investors, in order to harness the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s transformative potential for inclusive and sustainable industrial development. A joint initiative between UNIDO and the Ministry of Energy and Industry of the United Arab Emirates, GMIS is a platform that helps create new partnerships, initiatives and actions connected to digital manufacturing.

We see GMIS’s mission aligning to the Dell Technologies commitment to driving human progress and positive societal change. Through our reach, technology and people, we strive to create a positive and lasting impact by advancing sustainability, cultivating inclusion and transforming lives around the world.

As part of this focus, we are committed to doing our part to help close the growing economic and digital divide that deprives billions of people from opportunities that come only with modern information and communications technologies. Through our work to enable widespread access to technology and to drive technical skills development, we play a role in leveling the playing field for underserved communities — those on the other side of the digital divide.

For example, we are working to help organizations around the world to put emerging technologies to work — such as those for artificial intelligence (AI), machine and deep learning, Edge computing, and 5G networks — to capitalize on data in ways that generate new insights.

Similarly, we are working with GMIS and its supporting organizations to advance the thought leadership that is key to closing the digital divide. This was the case recently when I joined a senior vice president from Pirelli, the global tire manufacturer, for a GMIS virtual panel discussion on industry innovations that will enable a new era of “digital restoration.”

This discussion, titled “Back to the Future: Digital Restoration,” explored how businesses can future-proof their organizations by investing in advanced technologies, particularly those driven by AI. The discussion also noted that stronger collaboration among governments and multinationals is essential in order to prevent the digital divide from widening and leaving developing countries behind in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Ultimately, this is a story about putting the power of data to work to change the world. In the near future, data will become an even more strategic resource across multiple facets of business and society. For Western nations, this will mean greater investment in data connectivity, acceleration of the deployment of 5G networks and a push for more valuable insights into leading economic indicators.

For manufacturing, greater connectivity will mean significantly accelerated deployment of Industrial IoT, including sensing, data visualization, remote collaboration tools and AI-based insights across enterprise operations. In this new world, a control-tower view of data and insights across the entire manufacturing operation will become a standard component of running a manufacturing organization.

To learn more

To watch a replay of the GMIS virtual panel discussion on industry innovations, visit “Back to the Future: Digital Restoration.” For a look at the work that Dell Technologies is doing to close the growing economic and digital divide, see the “FY20 Progress Made Real Report.” And for additional information about Dell Technologies’ AI-driven services and solutions, visit Intel AI Builders.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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