Digital Transformation is an Imperative
The digital transformation of industry, infrastructure, and cities is under way. More than ever, digital transformation is mission critical for business health and viability, both short- and long-term. Industrial organisations around the world are entering a period in which new digital technologies augment people and processes to an unprecedented degree. New, commoditised computing resources in the cloud (and at the edge) and artificial intelligence (AI) are changing how people work. Approaches such as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industrie 4.0 have helped pave the way for digital transformation across a broad swath of industrial sectors.
More data is being generated and accessed than ever before. Increasingly, physical assets (devices, machines, and other “things”) are being interconnected. The cost of these advancements continues to drop, encouraging industrial and infrastructure-related organisations to harness this combination to modernise, improve, and transform their businesses and services.
When considering digital transformation, one must start with a seemingly straightforward question: what is it? ARC defines it as the transformation of industrial?products, operations, value chains, and aftermarket services that are enabled through the augmentation of people and knowledge, through the expanded use of sensors, data and analytics, automated and crowdsourced.
At its simplest, ARC’s process addresses three related questions that cover organisational maturity, applications and technologies, and readiness and execution. As shown in the following figure, these questions and their answers provide a framework from strategy development through tactical execution.
Pix1: ARC’s 3-step process for Digital Transformation
Clearly, the digital transformation of industry has the potential to contribute significantly to global economic growth. The World Economic Forum estimates that Industrie 4.0 alone could contribute more than $20 trillion to global gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020.
However, this will require a well-focused effort that includes preparing the workforce, implementing the appropriate IT infrastructure, and adjusting business processes. ARC research indicates that many management systems currently in place create barriers to digital progress. Often, hierarchical management structure, weak employee change management leadership, and organisational silos create artificial barriers to information, impeding decision making, and – ultimately – hampering business performance. ARC’s “elements of digital transformation” will help companies assess their respective readiness to transform. This consists of two main categories of organisational maturity: people readiness and business process readiness. Each element has its own implications for digital transformation.
As we move to a digital economy, many industries are gradually shifting many IT services to cloud-based service providers like Amazon and Microsoft. Addressing this shift to the cloud will be a critical step for successful digital transformation by transferring some technology accountability to the business stakeholders.
All this and more will be discussed at the Automation Expo 2019…
The theme for this year’s Automation Expo 2019 (25th – 28th September) is Digitalisation and Industrie 4.0. This is Asia’s leading automation and instrumentation exhibition, providing infinite networking opportunity at a global level. With over 1,100 exhibitors, representatives from 25 + countries, 20,000 products and over 50,000 interested visitors – this is the place where your company will get the required visibility and business expansion opportunities. Make sure that you register now for this event!