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用洪荒之力 推動軟硬整合 (2017-04-13 IEK產業情報網 )

Business will suffer long and hard if only focusing on hardware.
In the U.S., GE experienced a digital transformation from a heavy industrial company to now include a software company, while Google, a software service company, crossed domains to start-up a hardware industry. Such a business integration model, going from hardware to software, or software to hardware, has become a winning formula for global industries developing new strategies. The industries in Taiwan only show the continued rise of hardware, and the downward trend of software, which is contrary to the international development trend. In this new era, primordial power is needed to promote "Software and Hardware Industry Integration."
Both Apple and Google are top-notch software services companies with a total market capitalization of close to 600 billion U.S. dollars, making them the benchmark for global industry development. Apple’s smart phone product, the iPhone, is the best example of software-hardware integration for global companies to emulate, and is a success story that exemplifies the multiplication effects of combining software and hardware. The company also created an innovative economic model, a platform-based service called the App Store, setting the company on a path towards sustainable development.
Google’s roots are in the software-and-network services industry, but it then crossed over into smartphones, self-driving cars, robots and other hardware territories. While going from software to hardware, the software capability of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) that Google is developing is making remarkable progress and is edging closer to "Singularity”. With AI adding value to the software and hardware integration, there will be explosive transformations that lead to the birth of revolutionary new hardware and new systems, breaking through the limitations of growth.
There are more digital transformation cases than just GE. In addition, there are examples of platform-based manufacturers adopting services. In the U.S., General Motors (GM) announced in October 2015, that there were already more than 1 million GM vehicles on the road that had 4G connection capabilities. In 2016, every new GM car is now equipped with network connection capabilities. This is moving the automobile company beyond hardware manufacturing to becoming a platform service provider and starting to offer internet services. The automobile is then transformed into a wireless network base station; wherever the car is driven, there will be a wireless network.
The development of cross-domain integration systems is a global trend. Industries in Taiwan should move beyond the confines of just "Hardware" or "Software", and should venture into the "systematic software and hardware integration development." System software is software that fuses with specific hardware, to which value-added upgrades may be performed for years to come. The most valuable aspect of system software is its control management function, for example: Industry 4.0 control software, vehicle control software, and automated driving management software.
If the weak software industry in Taiwan is to have a future, it must cross over to work with top performers of a different industry to create a breakthrough. In Taiwan’s manufacturing sector, for example, there are many top performers, or invisible champions, with unique advantages in various fields, such as: functional textiles, mechanical components, bicycles, railway carriages, aircraft components, and others. A "Taiwan Industry 4.0 Special Alliance" may be formed by using the industry expertise of any of the above industries as the base, and then joining forces with a high quality international software system developed domestically, such as: ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and MES (Manufacturing Execution System) by Ares International/Digiwin Software, the homegrown SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system, and robot management and control software. Thus, starting a new cross-industry strong alliance with both software and hardware working together to create an international market.
In the global ICT industry, the powerful functionality of AI software is reversing hardware’s competitiveness and redrawing territories. NVIDIA shone brightly in 2016. The company created a high functionality computer chip, using deep learning theory, to be used as the heart of supercomputers and smart cars, which drove their stock price up three-fold in one year. NVIDIA's CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, said proudly that NVIDIA is not a graphics chip company, we are an AI computing company.
Although the ICT industry in Taiwan has an advantageous position in hardware, the industry is trapped in the hardware-oriented way of thinking, and is gradually losing this advantage in the face of the global trend towards software. In an era of innovation led by AI and the Internet of Things, only by adopting the use of value-added software can the industry retrieve and maintain its hardware advantages. The ICT manufacturers in Taiwan must embrace software to provide the high quality software-hardware integrated systems and the perfect solutions that are required to upgrade themselves from being hardware OEMs to system suppliers.
We anticipate it will be necessary to exert all the primordial power that is available to bettering our software capability and improving hardware value in order to elevate Taiwan's ICT industry to the next level. By integrating software and hardware, and allowing the synergy to flourish, Taiwan industries will be able to enjoy a prosperous and long-lasting future.
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