What is digital transformation, what does it mean beyond the hype and the technology
For McKinsey, it is defined as a commitment to enabling existing business models through the integration of advanced technologies. However, it goes beyond just the technology and the agility it offers; it is also about operating a digital-first organization that frees its people to undertake more complex tasks; and allows for organizations across all sectors to leverage data to improve operations and drive improvements in competitiveness, profit and processes.
Industrial digital transformation
One of the most valuable components of the digital transformation journey, particularly as a catalyst in driving the adoption and capabilities of Industry 4.0 and Industry 5.0, is data, and the innovation that surrounds it. The value of the data in the industrial setting can be felt across multiple touchpoints. It can be used to connect the digital dots and provide the organization with insights that can streamline processes and improve deliverables. It can be translated into real-time insights that impact decision-making and allows for immediacy in response times and improvements in operational performance. And, most importantly, it can be leveraged to mitigate risk and enhance the value of the connected worker within an increasingly challenging environment.
The critical importance of the connected worker
In the eBook entitled ‘Enable operational agility with a digitally connected workforce’ LNS Research underscores the critical importance of the connected worker in ensuring strategic growth and managing the complexities of an uncertain and competitive environment. Putting the connected worker at the heart of any industrial digital transformation (IX) program has become a differentiator and driver, and a strategic advantage for organizations looking to build agile, adaptable, and capable workforces in the era of COVID-19. The research found that the key considerations for organizations today were to increase production capacity and capabilities; to ensure consistent quality; and to improve environment, health, and safety (EHS) performance alongside regulatory compliance and customer responsiveness.
There is very definitely a line drawn under the need to improve operational performance across multiple touchpoints to ensure longevity and profitability. Adopting a connected worker strategy is key to realizing the true value of this smorgasbord of digital potential. It is a quality workforce that’s connected, capable and informed, that will define business success in the future. People are an asset and IX needs to center them to ensure staff retention, loyalty, and performance. LNS Research found that high margin plants are 47% less likely to cite lack of talent as an operational challenge compared to low margin plants primarily because they’ve adapted more efficiently to the demands of labor and training. IX is not just about digital systems that translate legacy systems into streamlined powerhouses, it’s about ensuring that workers have access to enabling technologies that are connected, relevant and accessible. One of the biggest challenges faced by companies in the industrial sector is a lack of visibility due to fragmentation across silos and systems.
The value of data
This brings the conversation full circle back to the data, and the value of this data in ensuring any IX investment is a relevant one. McKinsey points out that digital transformation is not always a success story, with many companies failing to achieve the outcomes they expect at costs they didn’t predict. The key to resolving this lies in ensuring that employees are empowered through intelligence and insights that embed transparency and visibility throughout the business. This seamless flow of information ensures that the workers are empowered to make the right decisions based on access to the right data, at the right time.
GOARC’s Connected Worker Solution
While data is the most valuable asset in IX, if it is managed and interpreted correctly it can go beyond just adding insights. With the right technology and strategy, the organization can revolutionize the convergence of personal and process safety to protect its people and its assets. The GOARC Connected Worker solution is a native mobile phone application that provides workers with access to real-time information 24/7 that includes insights into facility conditions and can be used to provide users with dynamic workflows in real-time. The solution has also been designed with a gamification feature to promote safe behavior and to motivate workers to remain compliant, aware, and safe.
Designed to be very much in line with the mandates of organizations within the sector, the platform turns the smartphone into a comprehensive operational and safety platform. It allows for organizations to empower workers with connected insights and information that loops back to decision-makers to create a holistic ecosystem of data and engagement. This means that complex situations can be resolved at speed, and with worker safety as a priority, and downtime can be minimized through comprehensive risk mitigation management. Workers can use the safety 4.0 platform to report hazards in real time which is of immense value in ensuring that issues are dealt with correctly and at speed.
Using structured and unstructured data, the GOARC Connected Worker platform closes the gaps that often exist between the workers on the ground and decision-makers. Its ability to adapt to changing conditions and provide users with a digital view of facility activities in real time means that it is fully realizing the potential of the data and ensuring that it is interpreted intelligently to ensure that workers sit at the heart of safety and operational excellence.
The future of IX lies in the hands of the connected workers. The skilled and committed employees who are empowered by digital and protected by data. They are the key to longevity and sustainability in markets and sectors defined by complexity, uncertainty, and change.