Canadian Manufacturing

IDC InfoBrief finds that industry partnerships will play a key role in innovation

Sustainability plays a key role when companies are in the process of selecting partners.

September 10, 2021  by CM Staff

Rohan Kelkar, Executive Vice President, Power Products Division, Schneider Electric (CNW Group/Schneider Electric Canada Inc.)

MISSISSAUGA — On Sept. 9, Schneider Electric announced that it had commissioned IDC to develop an IDC InfoBrief on ‘The Future of Partner Ecosystems.’

As the world rapidly digitizes and becomes more complex, the challenges of sustainability, climate change and the energy transition are too big to tackle for any one business alone. Organizations are increasingly looking to combine forces to innovate and co-create, as the market moves to open, interoperable, digital and simplified systems and ways of doing business.

The IDC research reveals that 64 per cent of partners are co-creating with their customers and partners (a 38 per cent increase on 2018). The vast majority (96 per cent) of companies are either currently or considering co-creating with vendors to develop new digital products and services. There has also been a dramatic shift in marketplace participation with almost three quarters of partners (71 per cent) selling via a marketplace in 2020 in comparison to just 4 per cent in 2018.

Top considerations for companies when considering partnering with a new vendor

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Sustainability plays a key role when companies are in the process of selecting partners with almost two thirds (60 per cent) of organizations now incorporating sustainability metrics into their RFPs. Other key considerations include: the ease of doing business (91 per cent), the availability of engineering support (79 per cent) and best in class technology / product (78 per cent).

Rohan Kelkar, Executive Vice President, Power Products Division, Schneider Electric said “This report reveals that increased digitalization of our economy can present both challenges and opportunities for global organizations, with partnerships becoming the cornerstone of innovation for sustainability and energy efficiency. We are seeing that intelligent power infrastructure, in particular, can make a significant difference to businesses’ bottom line while improving emissions and resilience. By investing in IoT solutions and smart digital infrastructure, companies across the globe can make themselves more resilient and ready for the all-electric world, no matter what the future brings.”

The extent of digital adoption varies substantially by industry

The biggest opportunities lie in the construction industry due to greater investment in making buildings smart. Commercial buildings account for a significant proportion of overall energy use and emissions production, thus significant savings of up to 30 per cent can be made by reducing energy wastage. What is clear is that investing in a more intelligent digital foundation across facilities and technology infrastructure brings substantial competitive advantage, with Digital Leaders (the top 24 per cent with the most advanced adoption of digital technologies) seeing markedly higher revenue growth. For example, just a 20 per cent improvement in data center efficiency can reduce overheads by $390,000.

Intelligent power infrastructure can save customers money while improving emissions and resilience

IoT is a growing market, which has only increased since the beginning of the pandemic. Research from IDC has found that the energy sector is planning on investing the most in this technology (90 per cent), far beyond the investments planned by the manufacturing sector (80 per cent) and retail and wholesale (75 per cent). The main challenges that these sectors face are all very similar: costs, complexity of deployment and security. This shows that companies are thinking about IoT solutions as part of their overall business strategy in order to harness the data and intelligence gathered by network monitoring to drive 360-degree business outcomes.