As we’ve discussed previously, digital transformation can bring huge benefits to companies who embrace modern digital workflows – but only if the executive suite is onboard with the project. Digital transformation cannot be treated as an “IT problem” and handed off to middle-managers. Throughout our own extensive history helping companies implement digital ecosystems, and data-focused business processes, the greatest success has always come when the executive level is fully invested in the success of the project.
So what can the C-level do to help guarantee their changeover to Industry 4.0 strategies is successful? These are some of the things we suggest to our own customers.
1. Create unified digital strategy goals
Digital transformation will impact every aspect of your organization, and that brings a need for a clear-sighted big picture view of the project. Many things can be accomplished via digital transformation, such as:
- Reduced costs
- Easier cross-departmental collaboration
- Improved communication across retail channels
- More efficient training
- Faster time-to-market
- Enhanced customer experiences
- Better post-sale support
- Easier moves into foreign territories
- Improved relationships with trade schools
- Uber-style integration of freelancers to lower workforce costs
Any of these are achievable, but not all are going to be achievable at once. An executive can do a lot to keep their project on track by picking the most important goals to aim for, based on their overall goals for the operation.
2. Set realistic performance metrics
Having settled on some initial goals for the project, what metrics and milestones will be used to monitor progress towards those goals? This is another area where an executive’s big picture perspective will be invaluable. With knowledge of the industry at large, you can settle on numbers which will put you ahead of the competition – but while still remaining reasonably achievable.
3. Act as a champion
Any major change to business processes will undoubtedly bring pushback from those who either feel threatened by change, or don’t want to have to learn new ways of operating. The executive level can do more to help bring these people around than anyone else in the operation, by championing the process.
In particular, this is why we advise against putting IT and\or the CIO entirely in charge of the project. They often don’t have the clout to bring particularly reticent managers around.
4. Secure business partners
Digital transformation and ecosystem-focused business strategies are focused on partnerships. Businesses are achieving mutual success by forming partnerships, where the abilities of each member of that partnership makes up for deficiencies in the other members. As a top-level exec, your networking skills will be absolutely invaluable in bringing in the right partners that will boost your business in the years ahead.
FUSE Enables Simple Digital Ecosystems
FUSE is a revolutionary new approach to enabling ecosystem-based business models. Our platform is built upon more than a decade of research, consultation, and refinement – all aimed at allowing operations of all sizes, in any industry, to form robust and profitable Industry 4.0 ecosystems. To learn more, subscribe to become a member today!