Everyone in the industry is talking about starting up a digital transformation journey in their company. Why? To maximize the potential value of their assets and remain competitive in the market. This all sounds nice, but why are companies not that far along in implementing a digital solution?
Most companies in this journey focus only on technology, such as Plant4D, to bring them to their goals of obtaining success. As technology is a big part of catalyzing the journey to success, prior to its implementation, two questions must first be asked; question number 1: “How have you prepared for this change?” and number 2: “why do you think you are ready for this change?”. Many in the industry are quick to jump into introducing technology to fix their asset-related challenges in the hopes of achieving unhindered values for their company. However, change must start at the heart of the organization first and foremost, and that is with the people. The people must be guided and work in unison to understand and grasp the overarching benefits of such an implementation and the new processes which follow. If change does not start with the people first, then no real value will be added, resulting in a long-winded digital transformation journey.
The digital world is dynamic, it constantly changes to meet the needs and wants of the market. Therefore, prioritizing only on technology to improve the value of your assets and stay competitive is not going to work. The following are challenges that a company must prepare for with its people prior to the implementation of technology.
- Readiness for change: Not everyone in a company is ready for the changes which digitalization brings. There are those who fear change as it may lead to a world of uncertainties, especially when it comes to introducing technology to manage and access all asset data sources across the organization. It is a new way of working which its benefits are not yet fully understood.
- The people side and their willingness to change is the most important factor to consider in this journey. They must be guided from the start and their challenges and needs must first be identified and communicated. If no one else in the company sees the benefits other than the project managers, no real changes will be made.
- Various initiatives: Companies have too many initiatives and sometimes they are all launched at the same time. People are dispersed across various projects in different locations. However, these projects and the people working on them are not always aligned. How can they be, when they’re all working with different processes?
To achieve alignment, the initial steps must be to have proper planning, a clear vision, but most importantly, there needs to be unison in how a project should be processed.
- Digital competence: Young and highly skilled people with digital tech and computer science backgrounds can keep up with the changes. They can adapt easily to a digital way of working. However, the aging engineers cannot keep up.
There is a big resistance to digital transformations because of a lack of knowledge. This is all enhanced by a lack of understanding of the process and possible benefits such journeys will provide. This solidifies the importance of taking the people along in the journey from the start. This will ensure that the people and their wants and needs are considered prior to the pick of a digital solution.
- Transformation management: you can have great ideas but they’re not worth anything if the management of the implementation is too difficult. Companies often lack experienced managers to lead the digital transformation programs to turn their ideas into reality.
Most times, those who are assigned for such projects have conflicting priorities. This reduces the possibility of a successful implementation. Also, if the project is not managed well, it stops working and a lot of the invested capital would go to waste.
- Technical reality: In a company, processes are not often homogenized internationally. Even on a site or two, project adapt to different processes. However, to have a successful digital transformation, it is important to have a common ground.
People want to keep their status quos. Perhaps some people prefer to use fax machines or have their important data scattered across physical copies and excel spreadsheets. But if people cannot make changes, then the company will not grow and will remain stagnant.
Look at digital transformation in a holistic way and make specific goals for digitalization in the company and identify a series of projects to realize goals. Calculate the benefits of the digital initiatives and the programs as a whole and not on the individual ideas.
It is important to start the digital transformation journey right. Keep in mind that in order for change to occur, it needs to go beyond technology, it needs to start with the people. If you’re unsure if you are well-equipped to take on new technology such as Plant4D in your digital transformation journey, do not hesitate to contact us. We are eager to talk with you to see if introducing technology in your journey is the next step for you.