The Covid-19 pandemic has been nothing short of disruptive, especially for sectors where manual labour with limited automation is the norm. The need to do more with less has further accelerated the demand for digitisation of the workforce, processes, and tools.
Digitisation can frequently cause a lot of confusion, even in those that have already started on their “digitisation” journey. There’s a range of digitisation branches businesses need to consider when planning their digital transformation strategy:
Not all Artificial Intelligence (AI) is made equal
There’s no shortage of businesses that claim that their algorithms can solve any problem under the sun – “give us your data and we will fix it with our super special secret sauce”. Indeed, AI or machine learning or deep learning or cognitive learning or a range of other approaches can create key insights based on core sets of data. However, any business who considers using AI needs to understand the limitations and capabilities of the technology first. Many AI providers can be secretive about their technology, so it’s your responsibility to do your due diligence and ensure the technology you use is reliable and unbiased.
Use big data / Cloud carefully
The collection and analysis of data is the basis for many digitisation strategies, especially in the world of industrial manufacturing and maintenance. It is this data that forms the basis for the increasingly prevalent “predictive maintenance”, “connected maintainer”, Industry 4.0 and many other innovative digitisation approaches to increase asset value and increase organisational productivity. Still, using inadequate or bad data can lead to poor decision-making and impact your bottom line. Data can sometimes answer the “what” but not the “why” – use this careful to put it into context and ensure data integrity throughout your data collection.
Be selective about implementing Internet of Things (IOT)
IoT is a rather abstract concept of connecting and digitizing everything possible, something that businesses have started doing more as a trend rather than due to a specific need. This is probably the most challenging space to navigate. When considering your digital strategy, think about where does a range of sensors help the business the most? How does the proliferation of sensors across your estate and customer impact your current business model? What is the real value of your services?
Invest in your Supply Chain and Process Optimisation
Modern retail chains are a perfect example of just-in-time delivery and end-to-end optimisation combining a variety of digital techniques to create unprecedented transparency, cost optimisation and predictive supply fulfilment. They embody a connected transportation system enabled with IoT that leverages cloud computing and big data to create an end-to-end integrated user experience. Yet, many businesses still have a long way to go to call their supply chain seamless. As a business leader, it’s your responsibility to identify and remove any bottle necks that can be slowing down your business.
As you consider your next steps in the digitisation journey, consider that combining these concepts often creates substantially greater effects than doing any one element alone – the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
What’s right for you and your business? Talk to us and let us find a journey right for you.