A few years ago, there were warnings that buildings have incompatible digital systems. The big cloud providers – Amazon, Google, Microsoft – realized that it would slow down growth. They agreed on systems for exchange of data. This advance means that buildings are not tied to one cloud provider and can integrate data from different suppliers.
A new landscape
This move of cloud providers shifts the strategic landscape. Someone can take on the role of delivering a factory, a smart city or smart houses to a customer. The supplier at the top can integrate data of subcontractors that are locked into its systems. Smart factories, smart cities and smart buildings now become business.
A board must understand the company’s place in its ecosystem.
Alliances are forming as companies negotiate cloud integration, exchange of data and division of earnings. Those who position themselves early will be in a much stronger situation than those who wake up late or who may be left out altogether.Siemens is one of the top contractors of production facilities. The bearings producer SKF is securing its place in the Siemens ecosystem. Data from SKF’s bearrings are integrated into the cloud of Siemens, although SKF also retains its own separate cloud.
Taking top positions
In China, Alibaba has been chosen by the government to become the supplier of smart cities. Danish water pump supplier Grundfos is taking a position in that ecosystem. In Europe ABB are integrating systems in Västerås, Kiel, Mannheim and Trier in a move towards smart cities. In Sweden Tyréns is one of the contenders for smart buildings.