Engineers play a critical role in integrating legacy systems into the digital landscape of today’s businesses. The new-age enterprises thrive on technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), Big Data and analytics, and robotic process automation (RPA). To optimize these technologies, organizations need to either overhaul their operations completely or make use of the existing setup and intelligently transform them as per the business needs. This makes strategizing a very important gamut of the digital transformation exercise.
A complete overhaul is not only cost-intensive but also risks compromising business continuity. As a result, organizations generally opt for the latter option and gradually transition legacy systems while keeping a close look at the lifecycle.
Progress of industrialization
Industrialization has seen various remarkable and future-defining changes over the past few centuries. Going from swift mechanization to electrification to seamless use of information technology (IT), the first three phases of industrialization ensured rapid evolution of businesses. With the advent of the fourth industrial revolution, more commonly known as Industry 4.0, operations started getting digitized and organizations across the spectrum felt the need for digital transformation.
Industry 5.0 is on the horizon. The success of digital transformation, coupled with the advancements in the Internet of Things (IoT) and high-speed, low-latency connectivity will define the future of work.
With digitization taking center stage, engineering solutions have grown in impetus and scope. The prospects for engineering services look especially promising as the global market for Industry 4.0 sees an upsurge. The projected value of the market is $21.7 billion by 2023, up from $7.7 billion in 2018. Rapid advancements of engineering applications and solutions will drive the market to grow almost threefold and at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.1% between 2018 and 2023.
Keeping pace with evolution
There is an increase in investment, especially in the industrial, logistic and commercial infrastructure. While Industry 4.0 is the undercurrent of this expected rise in demand for engineering, 91% of businesses are struggling to achieve the digital transformation essential to survive and thrive in this era.
One of the main contemporary challenges being faced by organizations in their digital transformation pursuit is the integration of legacy systems. However, it is important to find opportunities in every challenge and legacy systems are no exceptions.
Making legacy systems into smart systems
Engineering applications are vital because legacy systems don’t possess the required capabilities for a smart process. The use of sensors is critical to vitalizing legacy systems and integrating them into the digital ecosystem. Given the significance of data and real-time analysis, these sensors help in channelizing important information on performance, productivity and the legacy machines’ health.
In a smart paradigm that depends on immediate communication across multiple devices, sensors provide visibility to all relevant stakeholders at any given time. Real-time insights derived from the data transmitted by the sensors also enable spontaneous and informed decision making. Finally, thanks to these engineering applications, predictive maintenance of the legacy systems is made possible on the basis of health diagnoses.