Digital transformation has become a buzzword in recent years, and for good reason. Companies that embrace digital technologies are more likely to stay ahead of the curve, differentiate themselves in the marketplace, and meet the evolving needs of their customers.
The benefits of digital transformation can be far-reaching, from improved customer experience to cost savings and increased efficiency.
In this blog, we will explore the various benefits of digital transformation, and why it is essential for companies to embrace this trend in order to remain competitive in the digital age.
What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is a term used to describe the process of transforming an organization’s business model and operations through the use of digital technologies. It’s important because it can help you stay ahead of your competition, improve customer experience and attract new customers.
The benefits of digital transformation include:
- Improved customer experience: Digital transformation can help you better understand and meet the needs of your customers. With the use of data analytics and other digital tools, you can gather insights into customer behavior and preferences, and tailor your products and services accordingly.
- Increased efficiency and productivity: Digital transformation can automate many processes, reducing manual labor and freeing up staff to focus on higher-value tasks. This can lead to increased efficiency and productivity across your organization.
- Competitive advantage: By embracing digital technologies, you can stay ahead of your competitors and differentiate yourself in the marketplace. This can help you attract new customers and retain existing ones.
- Cost savings: Digital transformation can help you reduce costs by streamlining processes and eliminating unnecessary steps. This can lead to significant savings over time.
- Innovation: Digital transformation can open up new opportunities for innovation and growth. By embracing new technologies and ways of working, you can develop new products and services that better meet the needs of your customers.
See how JR Automation saved seven figures with embarking on their digital transformation journey:
Creating a Digital Transformation Roadmap
The first step to creating a digital transformation roadmap is to identify the scope of your transformation. What are you trying to achieve? What are the goals and objectives of your business? How will you measure success?
Once this has been determined, it’s time to set up a timeline for achieving those goals.
Once these steps have been completed, it’s time for action! You should now have a clear idea of what needs changing within your organization and how long it will take before those changes become visible.
Building a Digital Transformation Team
When you’re building your digital transformation team, it’s important to define roles and responsibilities. You’ll want to make sure that everyone understands their role in the process and what they are expected to do. For example, if someone is responsible for monitoring the performance of shop floor machines, they should know what the ideal OEE is of each machine, how they are going to collect that data, and how they are going to distribute it to enterprise decision makers.
It’s also important that you select team members who have complementary skillsets and experience levels. If one person has extensive knowledge of augmented reality while another knows nothing about it at all, this could lead to problems down the line when it comes time for them both to collaborate on projects together – and no one wants that!
Finally, creating a culture where collaboration happens naturally between team members will help ensure successful outcomes throughout your digital transformation project(s).
Adopting the Right Technology
The first step in digital transformation is choosing the right technology. You’ll want to consider:
Software: What are your current needs and how will they change over time? Will you need additional features or functionality?
Hardware: Do you have enough computing power and storage space for all of your data, or does it need to be scaled up or down depending on usage patterns at different times of day/year/etc.? Do you have sensors to track data that you need for production insight?
Tools: What tools do developers use to build applications on top of this platform (e.g., Creo vs. Solidworks)? How easy is it for them to integrate their code with existing systems like databases and messaging queues? Are there any security issues with using these tools – and if so, how can they be mitigated by using another tool instead (e.g., switching from MySQL database server software to Microsoft Azure).
Developing a Digital Transformation Strategy
The first step to developing a digital transformation strategy is to define the scope of the project. What are you trying to accomplish? What are your objectives, and how will you measure success?
These questions can help guide your organization through its transformation journey by setting realistic goals for both short-term wins and long-term gains.
Once you’ve defined what needs changing, it’s time for step two: defining how those changes will happen. This involves creating an action plan that includes timelines for each phase of implementation as well as resources required for each stage (e.g., time from IT staff).
Some companies may choose to tackle multiple projects simultaneously; others might choose only one area at a time depending on their resources available in terms of money/manpower/etcetera).
Implementing the Digital Transformation Plan
Develop a timeline. The first step in implementing your digital transformation plan is to develop a timeline with milestones that will help you track progress.
Set goals and objectives for each milestone. Once you’ve established your milestones, it’s time to set goals and objectives for each one of them so that everyone involved knows exactly what needs to be done at any given time during the project.
Track progress regularly by reviewing dashboards or reports generated from data collected during testing phases of development projects (if applicable). It’s important not only for managers but also employees on lower levels within organizations who may not have access
Monitoring and Evaluating Performance
Monitoring and measuring performance is an important part of the digital transformation process. It allows you to identify areas where you are successful, and areas that need improvement.
Monitoring can be done using a variety of tools, including:
Data Analytics Dashboards (e.g., Thingworx Analytics)
Real-time Data Share (e.g., Windchill, EAC Productivity Apps)
Digital Twin Performance (e.g., Augmented Reality)
Adapting and Adjusting the Plan
As you progress through your digital transformation, there will be changes in the market that you need to respond to.
If a competitor introduces a new product or service, or if something happens in the industry at large, it may change how you approach your own strategy.
You might also find that your goals and objectives have changed since they were first set out; perhaps there’s been an increase in customer demand for something specific that wasn’t previously considered important enough for inclusion on the list.
The best way to handle these situations is by reviewing them regularly with other members of your team – and making sure everyone has input into decisions about how best to adjust course as needed.
Communicating the Benefits of Digital Transformation
In order to communicate the benefits of digital transformation, it’s important to understand who your stakeholders are and what they want.
If you’re working in an organization with a large number of stakeholders (such as a government agency), then there may be multiple groups that need convincing. For example:
The board wants to see results from their investment in IT infrastructure. They’ll likely be interested in metrics such as ROI and cost savings.
Executives want quick wins that will help them achieve their goals, but they also need proof that this new approach will work before they can commit time and resources to implementing it throughout the organization.
Employees want something tangible they can hold onto when explaining why this change is important for them personally (and why it matters).
Digital transformation is a powerful tool that can help you achieve your business goals. It’s important to remember that digital transformation is not just about implementing new technologies, but also about changing how you work and think as an organization.
Digital transformation requires commitment from everyone involved in the process – from the C-suite down through every level of your organization.
To be successful, it must be an ongoing effort rather than a one-time project or initiative. You will need to continuously innovate and improve what you’re doing if you want to stay ahead of competitors who are also pursuing digital transformation strategies.
In conclusion, digital transformation is becoming increasingly essential for companies to stay competitive and meet the needs of their customers in the digital age. However, the process of digital transformation can be complex and challenging, which is why EAC assessments can be extremely helpful.
By conducting an assessment of your organization’s current digital capabilities and identifying areas for improvement, you can develop a roadmap for digital transformation that is tailored to your specific needs and goals.
EAC assessments can help you identify gaps in your digital capabilities, streamline your processes, and develop new products and services that better meet the needs of your customers. By embracing digital transformation and leveraging the expertise of EAC assessors, you can position your company for success in the digital age.
The internet of things and the capability to connect to the internet suddenly brings all kinds of new implications for products and their value.The internet of things is fundamentally changing how products function and how customers derive value from them.
How the internet of things is changing products and impacting what customers perceive as product value
Products today are becoming a combination of physical components, smart components, and connectivity components. Each of the 5 layers of the IoT stack plays a role — core product infrastructure, sensor systems, connectivity, analytics, and smart applications on an IoT platform.
While all three elements — Strategy, Connected Things, and true IoT platforms — seem somewhat elemental, balancing these will be central to the success of any IoT enabled business initiative.
For instance, look at a simple product, such as the light bulb.What is the product? In this case it’s the light bulb itself.What is the value of the product? I’m not talking about the monetary value, but rather the reason, need, or problem that drives the product purchase in the first place.
You might say in this specific case, the value of the product is the light that it provides, the illumination it creates, or perhaps the extension of functional hours it delivers.
What if we were to add connectivity to the product?By using an app on a device that controls the bulb via Bluetooth connection, you could now change the color of the light remotely.You could control the function of the light bulb with the sound of your voice.You could use the products new functionality to simulate the sunrise and replace your alarm.You could even sync the bulb to reflect your fluctuating stock prices! There’s a host of applications now available – just for a single light bulb.
Revisiting the original question, evaluating your new connected light, what is the product?Is it still just the bulb? What about the app that controls it, or the device that supports the application?It’s really an interesting question to consider.It’s really an interesting question to consider.For this same connected product, let’s talk about its value.
Again, I’m not talking the connected product’s monetary value, but rather the reason the product would be purchased in the first place.Would it still be just for the light or illumination, or is it the array of colors, new features and functionality?The fact of the matter is – the value of the product has changed.The connected product now adds value in the form of light, remote control, entertainment, and even overall experience.
Products and their value are changing
As a consumer shopping for an original bulb, you were most likely looking for a certain wattage or color (such as yellow or white) – not an experience.The connected product now adds value in the form of light, remote control, entertainment, and even overall experience.
Now that products are changing and you have systems of products: an app, a bulb, connectivity; the product value changes as well.You now have the ability to look for a light that can be synced to music or sound. A light that simulates the sunrise. A light that you can control from your device.You now need to weigh product value against a slew of new price points, features, and the support the manufacturer will provide over the years.
There’s no question that the value of products is changing because products themselves are changing. We’d like to help you map out this new world.If you’d like to do anything from brainstorm potential impacts to your business, develop a full strategy for IoT at your organization, create proof-of-concepts, or implement underlying technology… you’ve come to the right place.
We’re your partner in the ever-changing world of the internet of things.
The internet of things (IoT) is a business and technology revolution. It not only enables the connection and communication with ‘things’ but allows us to manage them.
It allows our organizations to do preventative and predictive maintenance on ‘things’, do guided service on ‘things’, and create digital twins of ‘things’. It enables us to improve operational efficiency, significantly reduce downtime, and to develop new revenue streams.
What makes up the ‘Internet’ in IoT?
The internet is composed of two separate communities; the internet of people and the internet of things or IoT.
The Internet of People
First, let’s break down what we mean by ‘the internet of people.’
The internet of people has grown organically over the past 20 years and has evolved into becoming an interconnected network of billions of people. That’s right, billions. Its primary purpose is to connect people, collate information, and enable people-to-people interaction.
The internet of people allows people to connect by becoming a clearinghouse of information. People post information available to other people, generating a great deal of information that is being pumped into the cloud.
The Internet of Things – IoT
The internet of things has been growing organically for the past 10 years and has the potential to become much larger than the internet of people. Its primary purpose is to connect machines, people, and data.
The IoT also enables people-to-machine and machine-to-machine interactions. In the Internet of Things, things are pumping data into the cloud so products can be monitored, controlled, optimized, and automated. During this process, information and data are streaming into the cloud from both people and things.
Combining the internet of people and things
This leads us to the internet. As mentioned earlier, the internet is the combination of internets of people and things into one integrated network. (Of course, they never were really separate, but it helps to think of them that way to facilitate the study of IoT).
Why are businesses investing in IoT?
The market for IoT is huge! Today there are over 20 billion connected devices, and that number is growing at an incredible pace. With connected devices comes a tremendous upside opportunity for IoT investments.
Through 2020, estimates are as high as 1.6 Trillion dollars! In fact, McKinsy has determined that the economic impact of IoT will top 11 Trillion dollars by 2025! The reason companies are starting to make such big investments in IoT is because so much value can be created.
How the Internet of Things is impacting product value
The internet of things isn’t about the internet – it’s all about the things. The things are what’s changing. The trend of smart connected things is really accelerating now that there’s a computer of sorts inside just about everything!
Today, according to the US government Census Bureau, there are about seven billion people on the planet Earth. About one-third of these people are connected to the internet with smartphones, tablets, and computers- yet in 2010 we hit an important milestone where there were more things connected to the internet than there were people on Earth This suggests these connected ‘things’ aren’t just smartphones, tablets, and computers anymore – they are fitness bands, thermostats, vehicles and more! This is where real innovation is happening.
Today, almost everything we have around us is capable of connecting. I’m talking about buildings, appliances, machinery, farms, hospitals, cities – all kinds of things. Now there’s a massive investment that is feeding this rapid expansion of the smart connected products – the internet of things solutions market. The IoT solutions market includes the smart connected things, the connectivity services, the software platforms and applications, the security, the analytics, and really everything related to smart connected products.
IoT Development Workshop
At EAC, we want to make sure you don’t miss out on any revolution with respect to potential capabilities that you can add to your products- while we also realize the importance of basing your IoT initiatives around your mission statement. That’s why we created what we call our IoT Development Workshop.
We have made it our mission to help guide organizations like yours to explore and embrace the uncertainty of the emerging IoT market.
It is not too bold to say the Internet of Things (IoT) is just about everywhere. Some even say that IoT will have a greater impact on business and productivity than the introduction of the Internet itself.
Whether you embrace it or attempt to look past it, the wave of IoT has already started disrupting many industries.
So what exactly is the Internet of Things? Well, if you haven’t read the HBR article by Michael Porter and Jim Heppelmann, I encourage you to do so.
I am referring to the concept that our physical and digital worlds, in which we have always compartmentalized into separate realities, have begun to converge into a single new reality.
This new reality with the IoT has started to change the way we do business.
Our strategies have begun to take our physical products, parts components and factories, and connect them to our digital systems.
This has allowed us to collect data, analytics, performance measures and much more.
Although there is so much that you can learn about IoT, Here are 10 things you need to know about the Internet of Things.
1. IoT Can Fuel Your Existing Business Initiatives
The Internet Things should not be thought about as something separate and distinct from your business strategy, but rather as an opportunity filled with unlimited capabilities.
This revelation could possibly be the exact catalyst needed to meet your existing business initiatives.
No matter what your business is specifically looking to achieve, IoT can be a real game-changer.
Some businesses have used smart connected operations to discover efficiencies while reducing risk.
Others have integrated smart connected products by modifying and creating new assets and services to increase revenue.
I have also seen companies incorporate smart connected solutions to quickly bring products and services to the market.
Despite your industry, an IoT strategy can be shaped to help fuel your existing initiatives.
2. Everyone Over Designs
Moving from IoT strategy to value is complex.
There are lots of distractions and rabbit holes to go down.
Achieving your IoT initiatives requires focus.
By this, I am referring to the importance of strategically mapping out the innovation that you are looking to drive.
Before deploying an IoT strategy, make sure to ask yourself if the concepts you are looking to implement match to the strategies you are pursuing.
3. There Is No Time Like The Present
Don’t over think it, just get started.
Your company has a chance to take part in one of the greatest economic value adding opportunities of a lifetime.
This is your chance to embrace change and see all it has to offer.
Companies that are able to identify the opportunities and quickly bring to market solutions with IoT will be the leaders of decades to come.
4. Think Wrap/Extend, Not Rip/Replace When it Comes to the Internet of Things
The idea behind integrating the IoT into your business strategy should evolve around bettering your processes, not replacing what you have done so far.
This is your time to pro-actively use the IoT to drive growth and optimize your current business operations.
5. The IoT Stack is a Huge Help
The IoT stack is a handy way to break down any IoT project into manageable chunks. Think about it this way.
Before adopting innovative technologies your company must establish frameworks, protocols, and standards that are consistent with your business strategy.
Your framework should revolve around the problems your business is looking to solve.
By breaking down your IoT solution into 5 layers you can better understand the business technology tradeoffs that are needed at each level and the system as a whole.
6. Zealots and Laggards Are Everywhere. Beware.
It’s easy to get distracted by the daily grind and to put off getting started.
Change is a scary thing for all of us, so it’s easy to procrastinate.
Doing nothing is one of the biggest threats when it comes to the Internet of Things.
The reality is, big change is what can define success.
Don’t let your company develop a reputation as a technical laggard in the IoT arena.
7. Avoid The Simple Small Tool Sets
If you’ve ever heard the saying “go big or go home”, it defiantly applies to an IoT strategy.
So often I see companies who are hesitant to make a big change, resorting to small easy to adapt ideas.
If your company wants to see real results, you must avoid wasting your time on the small and simple projects.
Running test pilots to assess potential value is not how you will reach your real strategic initiatives.
To see change, you must make a change. This is when you need to roll up your sleeves and make a connection to your real business issues.
8. The Control Engineers Are The Key to Success
On IoT projects, get to the Controls engineer — this is who has the keys to unlock the room or path to data that might already exist.
Who is your control engineer? This is the person that brings together disparate systems within your network.
A good control engineer knows how to design, develop, and implement the systems that will control your specified applications, networks and machines.
9. IoT is a Big Concept and Many Have Different Views
After introducing the concept of the Internet of Things to many different companies; it has become apparent there are many diverse views of IOT along with its purpose and benefit.
It’s important to remember that two people who seem to differ on the topic of IoT may simply be looking at opposite sides of the same spectrum.
IoT solutions offer limitless capabilities that can easily be tailored to your specific business needs.
This means what IoT can offer for your business, may be completely different than the purpose and benefit it can offer for another.
10. There Is Always a Way To Do Something with IOT
The Internet of Things can be applied to just about every business strategy that exists; it’s just a matter of working at it.
For example, IoT has been used for the complex systems of products like John Deer’s Farmsight to optimize the farm, to simple examples like the Babilat tennis racket that provides data about a player’s performance.
Device connectivity and data analytics enable a closed-loop, real-time digital thread that can connect your people, systems, and equipment across the entire supply chain.
With the rapid creation and developments of new IoT applications, any organization can connect, manage, and optimize complex sets of disparate systems.
See how IoT goes beyond connecting products and has expanded to enable manufacturing and service processes by reading these case studies from PTC.
When it comes to IoT, there is always a way to do something.