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“Think Big, Start Small”

Interview with Big Data-Expert Mark van Rijmenam

DIALOG: Mark, the Industry 4.0, or the Industrial Internet of Things, is quickly entering the manufacturing industry, transforming the way traditional companies define business. How well is the “old economy” prepared for the data driven age?

MvR: Currently we see the most innovative organizations quickly changing their business model to a data-driven business model, completely incorporating the Industrial Internet of Things. As such, we see more and more examples of this new, inter-connected, economy. Quite often, these companies are new disruptive startups that are a lot more flexible and innovative than companies in the old economy.

The old economy is therefore not very well prepared and many companies experience difficulties in changing their organization into a data-driven, information-centric company. Big Data, which lies at the heart of the Industrial Internet of Things, requires changing your organization, requires a different culture and requires, especially in the manufacturing industry, significant investments to be ready for the Industrial Internet of Things. Many organizations in the old economy are less flexible and thus have more difficulties with such massive change management.

DIALOG: You say that Big Data Management is at the heart of the IoT-based business models. But many companies are experiencing difficulties in finding their way to cope with strategic and technological complexity and to get started. What is necessary for a quick-start into Corporate Big Data Management?

MvR: The best way for a quick-start into Corporate Big Data Management is Think Big, Start Small. A data-driven mentality is key for a successful big data strategy and if you wish to start with big data, you should have at least a thorough, shared, understanding what big data means for your particular organization, as big data means something different for every industry, organization and employee.

Once you have this shared understanding the best steps for a quickstart are to create this ultimate vision of what you want to achieve with big data within your business and then start very small, with a small Proof of Concept or pilot project, to learn how big data can benefit your business, what it does to your organization and employees and what the return will be. Once you have established these first minor projects, it becomes easier to scale your data-driven projects as you have a better understanding what is required in terms of human capital, skills and resources.

DIALOG: Digital platformbased firms emerge as some of the most profitable businesses in the last 20 years. According to an MIT research which you have recently cited in one of your articles, almost the half of the top 30 global brands by market capitalization in 2013 were platform-oriented companies. What does it mean for traditional, let’s say supply chain-oriented, manufacturing companies? Can they capitalize on this trend?

MvR: Traditional supply chainoriented manufacturing companies need to reinvent themselves. Independent, silo organizations, that don’t cooperate with other companies in the supply-chain, will not survive in tomorrow’s hyper-connected world. The traditional manufacturing company can therefore definitely capitalize on the trend of digital platform-based firms, but will have to collaborate with the other players in the supply-chain in order to remain competitive.

If they manage to move their organization from a traditional manufacturer to a digital platform based manufacturing firm, they will be able to better understand their business, better collaborate with other stakeholders in the supply chain, lower their costs and increase their revenue. It means that they will have to reinvent themselves and understand what parts of the company can be digitalized and incorporated in the digital platform, as that will provide them with significant benefits to remain competitive in the fact-changing environment.


“Big Data lies at the heart of the Industrial Internet of Things”

About Mark van Rijmenam

Mark van Rijmenam is

Founder of Datafl oq. Datafl oq is the One-Stop source for Big Data, creating the Big Data ecosystem by connecting all stakeholders within the global Big Data market. He is author of the best-selling book “Think Bigger - Developing a Successful Big Data Strategy for Your Business” and is ranked as one of the global top Big Data infl uencers.



Does the formula „Data = Power“ apply? In fact, the power of data companies does so far rather appear in their share prices than in real cross-industrial disruptions. Is it really possible to create economic and political power from data? Do we have to prepare ourselves for a global competition that breaks industry boundaries and holds Big Data as the ultimate weapon? And what are the opportunities for traditional industrial firms in this struggle for power?


DATA WARS - Who will win the race in the data-driven economy?

We cordially invite you to shed light on these questions together with our guests at the ROI DIALOG DINNER in Munich on 28th of April 2016

DATA WARS - Who will win the race in the data-driven economy? Keynote speaker is Professor Gunther Reinhart, TU Munich. After a few short introductory speeches we will offer enough space for an open discussion and intensive exchange of experience. You will definitely be spared another PowerPoint presentation. Please get in touch with us by 28th of March via for registration or further information.The number of participants is limited – therefore registration is made with reservations. We are looking forward to your participation in this event.


Anna Reitinger

Anna Reitinger

Head of Marketing, ROI-EFESO
Tel.: +49 89 1215 90-0

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