Read on to discover:

  • Which transformation drivers are most important in industry
  • Why understanding your drivers is essential for integrating digital change
  • How to take a structured, holistic approach to digital roadmapping
  • Our framework to help you turn digital strategies into action

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:

  1. Quality control – enhancing operational techniques to improve a product or process

  2. New capabilities – developing the ability to seize an opportunity or match key competitors

  3. Resilience and growth – increasing capacity, and safeguarding business continuity

  4. Cost efficiency – optimising products and processes to save money

  5. 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?

Download the framework (PDF)

How roadmaps structure digital transformation

Body Once you have clarified the drivers and goals for your digital transformation journey, you’re ready to take a structured approach to change. However, it’s likely you could experience a gap between what you need to keep up with industry trends, and your ability to deliver that outcome.

To bridge that gap, it’s important to define a clear roadmap. This involves bringing technological possibilities together with business needs, and defining which actions can best help you to achieve your goals.

At Royal HaskoningDHV Digital, we use a clear framework that:

  1. Clarifies drivers, motivation, and the business case for digital change

  2. Brings structure to simplify complex challenges

  3.  Fosters a holistic approach across the business

  4. Adapts to each organisation’s unique situation

The transformation process starts with an exploration phase. This touches on the design of the transformation needed – and also the organisation’s own ability and willingness to change.

Especially in brownfield situations, it’s important to understand what legacy capabilities the business already has, and to take these into account when designing the desired outcomes of the transformation.

To reveal both the current situation and the organisation’s digital ambitions, we use a tool called the Digital Maturity Scan. This validates the maturity of the business across eight criteria and helps us to set the first priorities for digital improvement.

Digitalisation in food production

We worked with a leading global food and beverage company on plans to extend a production facility. This project brought an opportunity to explore potential benefits from automation and digitalisation, and embed these ambitions in the construction process.

First, we assessed the company’s ambitions and objectives for the project, so we could design the best future operating model. We took a structured approach to shape the design, development, planning, and management of the site.

In each case, we looked at the current state, and compared it to the target situation – from a strategic, tactical, and operational point of view. Questions included:

  1. What are the key areas where digital solutions can improve performance (environmental, reliability, and safety improvements; predictive maintenance, etc.)

  2. What impact would this have on processes and the wider organisation?

  3. What is the gap between the current situation and the desired target state – and what is the business case for bridging this?

This methodical approach allowed us to identify use cases so the customer could make informed decisions about which digital changes would deliver the most business value. We were then able to start defining their requirements in more detail.

Turning digital strategy into action

You know what your drivers are, and which steps will bring you the results you need. But turning digital ambitions into reality takes more than just technology.

Bridging the gap between your current situation and your desired target state needs you to assess all the related products and services your company provides to clients. This includes both your IT infrastructure, and the people and processes that organise and deliver the work.

To understand how the strategy will change operational actions, we define guiding principles that can help us design the target state. Then, we align all the pillars of the business transformation framework at each step in the process, ensuring consistency.

Why a holistic approach matters

Body: Increasingly, all the activities in a business are interrelated. Through applications and data, IT and operational technology connect customers, employees, and business processes.

So through the business transformation framework, we keep a constant watch on how any proposed changes will affect existing value provided to clients, the organisation’s design (people and processes), and applications and infrastructure. Does the change fit the current situation, or is there a gap to bridge?

We capture all the actions needed to bridge these gaps, and achieve the new goals, and consolidate them in a structured roadmap. This way, you always know the next step to take to satisfy your digital drivers and achieve your business goals.

Begin your digital transformation journey

If you’re ready to identify your drivers for digital change, or if you’re just interested in finding out more, we’d love to talk.

At Royal HaskoningDHV, we can help you understand the target state your organisation wants to achieve, and construct the right roadmap to get you there.

Realising your digital ambitions does not only require the application of technology. It’s about consistently translating your strategy into executable tasks.

Robbert de Jong

Business Consultant, Novius – a company of Royal HaskoningDHV