Digitization, Automation and New Business Models have revolutionized many industries while transforming the way they do business and manage their ecosystems; Automotive Industry is no exception!
‘Software Competence’ has become one of the critical differentiating factors for the automotive industry, encompassing various domains, including but not limited to Infotainment, Automation, Connectivity, ADAS/Active Safety. Autonomous Driving will become mainstream in the coming decade despite apprehensions by certain groups on hacker threats and safety concerns. It’s a matter of time with enormous investments being made into extensive Research, Development and Data Science, taking the focus away from the physical aspect of the cars – ‘The Hardware’. Autonomous Driving feature will simply become a ‘Self Service’ option for car owners, should they wish to pay the additional (upgrade) fees, with Push Over the Air [POTA] update to car models from manufacturers.
Further on, as cars increasingly get integrated into a digital and hyper-connected world, automakers will have no choice but to participate in the new mobility ecosystems that emerge as a result of technological and consumer trends.
I believe automotive manufacturers, will undergo massive changes in their business models and the way they operate, resulting in organization structure moving away from a very heavy manufacturing, supply chain and sales focus towards a more Professional Services focus company. As an example – Embracing 3D Printing might squeeze the entire supply chain function with the way spares will be made available and consumed by service centres and dealers. On the other hand, Mobility as a Service might result in subscription or usage-based business models, with advisors progressing to using Big Data Analytics with Connected Car Data (IoT) to understand customers’ usage patterns, expectations and effectively managing their life cycles and financials.
Hence as the business value shifts and new user centric business models arise, IT intensity in automotive companies will change from a product centric approach to a user centric approach, multiplying the amount of data and the need for advance analytics. Leading consulting firms and analysts predict that the future IT landscape in the automotive industry will look like the IT landscape of more user centric industries (e.g. financial services) today. Hence in my opinion Automotive IT is evolving from traditional IT towards more user centric, user focussed and business aligned IT.
With evolution and diversification of User Personas and business ecosystem, the IT landscape will have to be flexible enough to adapt to changes in the IT Intensity & Consumption Models for each User Persona. Automotive manufacturers Internal IT Teams will play an important role in helping the business navigate through the new business models and evolution, by ensuring that each and every End User – Employee, Partners, Dealers etc. is provided a ‘Transformational 21st Century IT Workplace’, with user experience is at the core, that will help them stay motivated and productive.