Robotics Business Review has been covering the global ecosystem for robotics, artificial intelligence, and autonomous systems for the past 15 years. Just as the technologies and markets have evolved, so have we. In the coming year, we’ll be honing our focus on specific aspects of robotics, including the challenges facing chief robotics officers, or CROs. Our CRO focus has already begun, thanks to feedback from readers like you.
The CRO title, while not yet widespread, includes the set of responsibilities around assessing an organization’s need for automation, evaluating available products and services, and implementing and deploying those systems.
In its recent “Commercial Service Robotics Survey,” analyst firm IDC found that more than 90% of respondents have plans for robotics in the near future, with 21% actively piloting the technology. More than 37% of companies noted that a lack of a champion and support from upper management pose challenges to robotics projects.
CROs, or the business leaders and teams tasked with managing robots, must also ensure buy-in from management and staff. They monitor returns on investment (ROI) and work with suppliers, partners, and customers.
In addition, workforce development and retraining, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and legal concerns around safety are more areas of CRO focus. “Industry 4.0,” “cobots,” and “digitizal transformation” and are just some of the buzzwords for CROs to watch as they manage change.
With CxOs already wearing multiple hats, the CRO role poses both familiar and new challenges. CIOs, CTOs, chief data officers, and chief automation officers, as well as vice presidents of engineering and operations, can all benefit from our CRO focus.
CRO Online Summit
On Dec. 5, our CRO Online Summit will feature experts who will address the automation challenges facing executives and business managers. IDC Research Director John Santagate will examine CRO responsibilities and what you need to do to prepare to become one.
Nicholas Akiona, robotics research lead at Accenture, will discuss the CRO focus on defining the business problems to be solved with robots. He will step you through questions to answer, as well as how to manage expectations for the rest of the C suite.
Integrators play a major role in adopting automation, particularly at small and midsize enterprises. Craig Salvalaggio, vice president of sales and engineering at Applied Manufacturing Technologies, will talk about getting started with robotics and building strong relationships with systems integrators.
Speaking of relationships, partners can make or break a robotics implementation. Roger Counihan, vice president of sales at Fortna, will analyze tradeoffs in expense models, building a business case for robotics, and measuring ROI.
We’ll be interviewing each of these presenters between now and the summit, and be sure to register now!
CRO focus in RBR
Robotics Business Review will continue to report on developments in manufacturing, supply chain, healthcare, and other vertical segments. With our CRO focus, we’ll be looking to share case studies, how-to advice for first-time robotics adopters, and information about regulations and different markets around the world.
In the coming months and year, our CRO focus will extend into articles, reports, and webcasts, each of which will help you understand the different phases of bringing robots into your organization.
Our RBR Insider content, which serves developers of technologies such as sensors, grippers, and mobile platforms, can also help businesses looking for solutions for materials handling or pick-and-place operations. Subscribers get full access to our company and transactions databases and exclusive content.
CRO on tour
Beyond next month’s CRO Online Summit, you’ll have a chance to meet fellow business leaders at a range of events with a CRO focus.
In January 2019, we’ll be presenting the track on service robots at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
In February, we’ll be hosting CRO-focused sessions around smart manufacturing and robotics champions at ATX West in Anaheim, Calif.
In April, ProMat and Automate make Chicago the place to be for the latest in supply chain and manufacturing, and we’ll be there!
And, of course, our flagship RoboBusiness conference in Silicon Valley in September will include programming around our CRO focus.
I look forward to speaking with people everywhere about their robotics journeys, and don’t hesitate to contact me with your own CRO tales! From case studies and webcasts to panels and networking events, we’ll all have a lot to learn from in the coming year.