Drivers for digitalisation in industry
Body: Industry as a whole has been slow to adopt digitalisation. In fact, as many as 60% of manufacturers are still in the early stages of digital factory transformation. If you’re going to get ahead of your competition, creating a sense of urgency is important. That’s where your drivers come in.
So while our previous blogs examined the importance of clear business goals in digitalisation, and accounting for your current people, processes, direction, and data, we’ll now look at the digital change drivers we see most often in industry.
If you’re trying to trace your real driver for digitalisation, think about when your organisation first became enthusiastic about topics like Industry 4.0. What potential benefit was causing the most excitement?
Sustainability is one common answer. As global challenges lead to new legislation and social pressure, many businesses find digital solutions are an important part of their response.
Productivity is also closely linked to digitalisation in many industries. Research shows this is especially true in younger organisations, where digital skills deliver a greater productivity uplift compared to established firms. So if productivity is important to you, policies supporting your workers’ digital skills will help you achieve more value.
Most often, digital transformation will have been triggered by events outside an organisation. You may be responding to new legislation, changes in market demand, or societal circumstances. But there are also internal drivers that we commonly see in industry in particular. Alongside productivity and sustainability, these include:
- Quality control – enhancing operational techniques to improve a product or process
- New capabilities – developing the ability to seize an opportunity or match key competitors
- Resilience and growth – increasing capacity, and safeguarding business continuity
- Cost efficiency – optimising products and processes to save money
- Health and safety – protecting people and assets from harm
Understanding your drivers is important because it ensures the resulting actions deliver their desired value. You can evaluate the business case for a digital solution, and ensure your efforts deliver what the organisation really wants.
It also allows you to check if your digital drivers align with your organisation-wide goals. Is this a vanity project, or is there a true strategic benefit for your business?