What’s next for automotive? CTO insights from the AutomotiveIT Congress

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Top decision-makers from the automotive industry gathered in Germany at the 10th AutomotiveIT Congress to network and share experiences, and to glean fresh insights about the IT challenges and opportunities they’re facing as they navigate their organizations’ digital transformations. DXC’s Automotive Center of Excellence was featured at the conference, held March 22 in Berlin. In this post, I’ll share some of my his first-hand impressions of the annual event.

What is next on the agenda for automakers and their IT departments?

The automotive industry has been going through tremendous changes in recent years. Digital transformation is a high priority for auto manufacturers, particularly in response to changing consumer behaviors and market trends. They are primarily focused on four areas. Firstly, they are continuously considering new business models in order to satisfy changing customer needs and to enable new entry strategies into markets, which is crucial in such a competitive environment. This is very much supplemented by their second focus area, developing new services and mobility solutions. To that end, effective back-end systems are crucial. Thirdly, they are strategically investigating how to use the latest technologies inside the car: specifically, new components that are designed to make the car, its operation and its use more intelligent and intuitive. Last but not least is the use of more advanced IT in production. Automakers want to apply Industry 4.0 concepts to create flexible production ecosystems and to advance digital production capabilities through data analytics, connectivity, smart supply chains, agile production systems and digital processes. Manufacturers also want more intelligent management of operational technologies on a global scale.

Big developments: Where do they lead?

It is no secret that consumer needs are at the core of the industry changes. What we are witnessing is automakers evolving from car manufacturers to mobility providers. Daimler and BMW, two of the biggest makers of premium cars, announced their plans to merge mobility services, which will create probably one of the largest car-sharing companies. This is just an example of how important mobility is for automakers, not only as a topic, but also as a business area. Such developments will encounter new challenges that will have to be mitigated. Take security as an example: how do you make sure that your connected fleet does not get hacked?

Innovation is very important for DXC’s Automotive Center of Excellence (pdf), and that is why we are aggressively exploring these topics and are strengthening partnerships with various startups that work with us to deliver innovative, scalable and cost-efficient solutions to overcome challenges and help our clients succeed.

Jürgen Dettling is DXC’s Automotive CTO for North Central Europe

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