Powering digital disruption at BMW

BMW CIO Klaus Straub is putting his IT teams in the driver’s seat for the connected car. Here is why ..

“Every branch of the IT department has a strong role [to play] in the digitalization phase over the next 10 years,” “Not just at BMW — but also at VW, Audi, GM, Ford and Daimler — all automotive IT are addressing the same topic, with IT teams driving much of the change.”

With digital transformation riding high on corporate agendas, many senior business executives have decided that they need to take direct ownership of digitalization initiatives — often to the exclusion of their IT colleagues. But, in the automotive industry, the opposite is happening.

e.g. Earlier at BMW Design HQ,  “While designed engineers designed a car, the IT organization was simply not involved.” IT is now deeply involved.

Thanks to IOT & Connected Driver Experience.

Major Catalysts of digitalization in Automobile Industry..

Connected cars
BMW already has the best car connectivity [record] of any company,” they have six million of their cars directly connected to the internet.

That will lead to increasingly autonomous driving but it also inspires a growing number of services that will be provided from the cloud and back-end IT infrastructure, enhancing the driving experience through machine learning and big data analytics.

Today “In the automotive industry, alongside our normal competitors such as GM, Ford and VW.  BMW is seeing competition coming from the IT industry, which makes it more complicated. BMW identifies them as Tesla, Google and Apple as their biggest threat

The company is already seeing several disruptions in this Next Generation Industry landscape.

Use of Additive Printing

One area with huge potential, is 3D printing. BMW plans to start printing specialist parts and use 3D printers in prototyping for greater efficiency and speed.

Another radical development is underway in assembly lines. BMW highlights how the machinery involved in production and the products they are making will increasingly talk to each other throughout the process. “This will give them new possibilities of quality,” BMW says.

Data lake construction

BMW is exploring the ability to exploit big data. For them, that area spans not just the analytics areas of business intelligence and data warehousing, but also the emerging field of machine learning.

Every Car, Every Driver, Every Terrain, Every Weather has a different story and different data to share

Which means that data becomes the gold nuggets of the future, helping to optimize products, get better customer views and optimize business models.”

  At Ford: they feel  The next 10 years are a revolution for the car industry — and for IT.