Subscribe to Our Blog

Agile Reinvention: Transforming Jabil at the Speed of Digital

Tue Aug 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017

"In today’s era of volatility, there is no other way but to re-invent. The only sustainable advantage you can have over others is agility, that’s it. Because nothing else is sustainable, everything else you create, somebody else will replicate."
-- Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder

Agility. Speed. Velocity. Hustle. Time to Market. There are so many ways to say it – but none that truly expresses the remarkable value that comes from it. Agility brings sustainable advantage, and when it’s built on a foundation of digital technology, it brings an advantage that can’t soon be duplicated.

Let’s take the simple computer as a case in point. Forty years ago, no one dreamed of owning one, and now, 40 years later, two-thirds of Americans have at least one, according to the Pew Report. And that little computer you carry around in your pocket? Ninety-five percent of Americans owned some variation of the cell phone in January 2017 and it is slated to hit 44 percent worldwide by the end of this year.

Why the rapid-fire evolution and full-scale adoption? The first computers were designed on paper and assembled by hand. Humans played a critical role in their development, but their evolution has been a whole different story. Today, computer workstations drive the majority of the design effort, with the computers themselves processing details of the next generation’s design. As factories become more automated, computers can be mass produced with blazing speed.

Speed and innovation has brought efficiency and cost savings in the computer and smartphone space. What cost millions now costs hundreds and processing speeds are light years faster than ever before. Computer technology is a metaphor for today’s digital transformation. As in 40 years ago, innovation, data, technology and intelligence created an unprecedented model and that model has been evolving with gathering speed ever since.

It’s no wonder then that as Jabil ponders its own digital future, both agility and technology play starring roles.

The digital thread that connects Jabil for Jabil, Jabil for customers and Jabil for the world calls for disruptive innovation achieved through new ways to work and speed to market driven by unprecedented agility. 

Our digital transformation relies on a strong foundation that drives a broad set of outcomes for our company, our customers and our employees. They will come through four critical mandates:

  • Deliver platforms “in-a-box” and “as-a-service” 

  • Reposition and leverage aligned technology to better serve the needs of Jabil and our customers

  • Move to a fully digital model across the business, anchored by a rock solid and secure IT infrastructure

  • Adopt a digital mindset across the business to enable collective success

Digital value will be achieved in support of mega-trends that drive evolution with speed – from the digitization of everything to data-trapped intelligence and devicification – just to name a few. And it will manifest through value solutions offered in fast moving categories from Smart Packaging and Connected Health to Intelligent Digital Supply Chain. Leadership plays in Additive and Human Machine Interface will drive game-changing advancements both for our customers and for Jabil. And the data thread and connectivity will work together to drive velocity and efficiency from the beginning of the product lifecycle to the end - cutting time to market in half at a fraction of the cost.

How can I be so sure? Jabil’s digital platform. It will spin Jabil off an analog axis to a digital interface that aligns powerful insights from deep and wide analytics, helping us to envision new business models in support of Jabil and our customers. Through this far-reaching digital thread, we’ll monetize critical data, promote innovation through a combined services model and do it all with the network as a multiplier that also speeds time-to-market at a dizzying pace. It’s Jabil’s digital future, and the platform makes it all possible.

I think of it as tantamount to the simple, yet massive computer of nearly a half a century ago. Without innovation and speed - the computer would still be the size of a small house and weigh 13 tons. Instead, it’s so tiny and light, it fits in your pocket – and talks to you and takes your picture. Even today’s most modest smartphones widely exceed the computing power and storage capacity of the early behemoths. Mark my words – we will do the same with Jabil’s differentiated digital advantage.

Technology with speed = reinvention at Jabil. And I couldn’t be happier to be the leader driving it all. You can bet I will be the one ensuring we are so far ahead that it can’t be replicated.