Entering the BMW Group Leipzig plant in Germany is an awe-inspiring experience. My hosts are Rene Te-Strote and Frank Schäfer. Frank is a plant supervisor responsible for ordinary car integration. The tremendous Central Building was designed through architect Zaha Hadid, who designed a number of the most precise homes of our time. The unapologetic sci-fi structure invokes the sensation of on foot into destiny.
Upon entering, the maximum outstanding sight is an elevated and exposed section of the manufacturing line that towers high above eye level. The car our bodies circulate throughout a suspended conveyor and then slowly disappear out of view as they flow over a sea of desks. The production line is visible to anybody who enters the construction and to all of the workers, and the whole building is designed around it. Every part of the construction has some realistic elements associated with manufacturing and value delivery. Everything embodies the adulthood and scale of one of the masters of the Age of Mass Production.
Gene Kim, a mentor, and co-author of The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win and The DevOps Handbook, once informed me that we might best be 2 percent of the manner there in the maturity of DevOps adoption. This declaration took aback me, but it also explained a lot in phrases of the glacial tempo many conventional companies pass via the Age of Software. The slow fee of progress throughout the industry is even more disconcerting than the 2 percent wide variety itself. I became stimulated to peer firsthand what the fruits of the Age of Mass Production looked like so that I may want to extract every ounce of gaining knowledge from it and apply those standards to the Age of Software.
A year before I visited the Leipzig plant, the BMW Group celebrated its hundred-yr anniversary with the “Next 100 Years” event, which identified the past century of manufacturing excellence and supplied the BMW Group’s vision for the future of mobility. The occasion started with a quote from Alan Kay of Xerox PARC fame, pointing out that “the great manner to expect the destiny is to invent it.” What struck me most was how extraordinary the following hundred years would be from the ultimate.
The automobile enterprise is presently at an inflection point, wherein software program-based innovation is starting to overhaul the incremental gains in engine performance and the different bodily aspects of the automobile. In 2017, the market cap of Tesla overtook Ford. Investors have been making a bet huge at the yet-unrealized capacity for exchange embodied via Tesla, given that during 2016 Tesla produced seventy-six thousand motors versus Ford’s 6.7 million and noticed sales of $7 billion as opposed to Ford’s $152 billion.
In the Next one hundred Years presentation, the BMW Group made it clear they had been staying properly beforehand of the curve, constructing on their accomplishment of how quick they delivered the electric i3 and i8 automobiles to the marketplace. But that became not the most interesting part of the Next one hundred Years’ vision, which projected a future of wise assistants, augmented and self-sustaining driving, and novel solutions to mobility that reframe the belief of vehicle possession.
The most thrilling part of the Next a hundred Years imaginative and prescient changed into that the innovations the BMW Group forecast has been all powered with the aid of software, as underscored by using a declaration from the BMW Group’s CEO that stated within the destiny the BMW Group predicted greater than 1/2 its body of workers to be software program builders.
I even have witnessed similar inflection factors at most of the Fortune 500 businesses that I visit, irrespective of the marketplace segment they may be in. Is every enterprise going to be disrupted in this manner, where greater than 1/2 the personnel in years ahead will be IT professionals? Given Gene’s “2 percentage of the manner there” remark, are all these organization groups prepared for that shift from an organization and control point of view? Did the BMW Group have a few fundamental advantages, having mastered the closing high-quality technological revolution? What could we study from the way this plant operated, and will we use it on the way large-scale software program is built?
No Sector Is Safe
Over the years, the first organizations uncovered to the shift to virtual communication and collaboration, wincludingKodak and Blockbuster, were ahe first sufferers of disruption. The difference now is that the entire economy is uncovered to disruption. Consider the four economic sectors as laid out by Zoltan Kenessey. The primary area includes aid extraction from the planet, the secondary involves processing and production, the tertiary includes offerings, and the quaternary entails expertise paintings.
The potential to enhance discovery, extraction, and logistics thru software offers a few businesses in the primary zone essential blessings over the ones who’ve no longer mastered those software-based totally solutions. While advances in extraction and technologies yield only incremental gains, software and IT systems can power extra trans-formational discoveries and efficiencies. For example, herbal useful resource and strength groups are increasingly competing with a software program and data-pushed processes to discovery and extraction. The backside line is that no enterprise or area is safe from virtual disruption, even though the tempo of the disruption will vary throughout sectors and groups.