Enhancing Performance through Digitalization
“The idea of being able to bring together the physical and digital world is fascinating. Augmented Reality (AR) is going to transform every industry, medicine, transportation, education, and many others. In my industry, capital goods product and services are transforming the way we build machines and how we service them in the field.”
Digital Transformation offers organizations a massive opportunity to boost productivity and improve growth. CIOs have a unique perspective and ability to see across the entire value chain of the company. By taking an enterprise view and holistic approach, CIOs are catalysts for change, influencing new ways to bring technology and process innovation to the forefront.
The transformation from traditional to digital work platforms have been disruptive, yet it has opened a variety of opportunities for businesses. CIOs are guiding business leaders to appreciate the implications of technology underpinning every business process. Whether it is to enhance product quality, increase margin, grow share, or introduce new products to the market faster, a significant opportunity now exists for IT organizations to influence new ways to maximize innovative pursuits, improve team members’ experiences and better serve our customers. There is a high expectation on the value that an IT organization can deliver.
Many business leaders are figuring out how to embrace technological change and understand what actions need to be taken to transform and help differentiate their company in today’s ever-increasing digital world. They are looking to IT for guidance on solutions that will deliver improved business outcomes.
Digital Transformation: A Buzz Word
Digital transformation offers organization is a massive opportunity to boost productivity, optimize spend, improve growth and make it easier for customers to do business with us.
CIOs are guiding business leaders to appreciate the implications of the technology underpinning every business process.
Everything from coffee-makers to cars will be connected and interacted with digitally. This is a game-changer for all industries. For service managers, the power of having real-time data when they need it enables them to transform how they serve their customers.
For product managers, having real data about how products are used becomes invaluable to improving the customer experience and influences future product enhancements and design. This connectivity evolution is driving a whole new set of demands on IT organizations to ingest data from the connected devices, make common sense conclusions from it, then share new insights and findings to support more informed business decision making. Connectivity gives products a digital heartbeat and IT organizations are the ones best suited to keeping their lifeline alive.
As a CIO, it is necessary to predict where we are going, long before we arrive. It is also important to get there together with your business partners across all functions. When we first began our digital transformation, we took a step back to understand what efficiencies could be gained with digital being a forethought versus an afterthought. We determined what primary outcomes we wanted to change, then looked ahead to contemplate the results we wanted to achieve. What we ended with was a business strategy that had a digital thread woven throughout.
Taking a Future-Ready Approach
IT organizations have been dealing with integrations for decades. As we get more and more connected products, the demand for them is going to sky-rocket to a whole new level. If we thought integration was complex in the past, that will pale in comparison to what’s coming. There is going to be a need to interact with broader ecosystems. And with that comes a new level of sensitivity to the speed and security of data exchanges given the sheer volume that will be created, accessed and consumed. It will eclipse what we know today. Seamless integration is what makes the interactions across different capabilities and ecosystems come together.
One recent global project we completed with our dealers will help them become more efficient and effective as they continue to grow their businesses. A dealer’s ability to provide timely service affects their bottom line and reflects on our brands. By working together to connect the dealers' inventory management system with our planning, inventory and warehouse capabilities, dealers are assured they will have the parts they need when they need them, without excess tying up cash.
An Exciting Future Ahead
The idea of being able to bring together the physical and digital world is fascinating. Augmented Reality (AR) is going to transform every industry, medicine, transportation, education, and many others. In my industry, capital goods product and services are transforming the way we build machines and how we service them in the field. Field technicians will wear smart glasses when servicing a product. Specific information about the machine will automatically be overlaid in the glasses they are wearing, providing a rich, interactive and immediate experience, improving productivity and accuracy at every turn. The technician will receive directions on safety precautions and see arrows that point to fault areas, for closer inspection. By providing information exactly at the time of need, we are adding a power digital wrench to their toolbox.
Being able to meld physical and digital will help us overcome some challenges we are experiencing today. In many industries, there is a scarcity of skilled labor. We have a difficult time finding technicians. With AR, I believe we can make learning a whole lot easier and fun for individuals. AR will be a pervasive technology as it continues to mature. One day you will not even need glasses!
A closing thought for my peer CIOs, technology is pervasive. Our job is everybody’s hobby. We can fight it in an effort to control it, but that will stifle relationships and progress. Or we can embrace it, then influence and guide. In the end, we’re savvy business partners, not just the IT team.