22 April 2015

Softwarization and Componentization of Manufacturing

We’re witnessing that technologies advances are progressing at an impressive rate: processing is continuing to follow the Moore’s curve and it is doubling in capability roughly every 18 months; storage capacity on a given chip is doubling every 12 months. Add this to ultra-broadband diffusion.

All of all this is creating the ideal conditions for the software eating the world , as Mark Andressen argues. In other words, these trends are leading to a progressive “softwarization” of any Industry, which appears to be an unstoppable trend, because of the costs reductions and the new business opportunities it will bring. 

Many business will be "commoditized". One of the most mentioned example is about the evolution of Computing: from mainframes, as large as a room, accessible only to big organizations, up to embedding more and more powerful processors in anything, or up to accessing computing as an utility, at very low costs. It’s the last phase of a technology transformation cycle. This will have an impact on manufacturing, as well. And the network will play a new role, "disappearing" into the Digital Society and Economy.

Have a look at this nice presentation about Future Proof Design here. The big deal seems moving from a monolithic production where “Producers create a product and Consumers will consume it” to another perspective, where the “Producers develop the seeds of ecosystems and the Consumers’ communities will contribute to the creation of the products they will consume (or even sell)”.

In summary, it seems that the new challenges for SMEs and web entrepreneurs in the coming era of softwarization will be:
  • building a vision around a seed (e.g. service or product) for a new ecosystem;
  • defining the levels of componentization, configurability and assembling capabilities of cheap and simple components (e.g. for customizing or developing the services or products) which will be under the control of Communities of people;
  • providing the ICT tools and the platforms to “make it simple”;
  • stimulate and facilitate the development of Communities around it.