Today, digital transformation is a necessary disruption for organisations to leverage the benefits of technology, maximise efficiency and maintain a competitive edge.
Indeed, most companies understand the need for digital transformation. But because it requires additional investment and may cause business disruptions during the transition, many postpone the process. Those operating under the assumption of “If it ain't broke, don't fix it" usually procrastinate until it’s dire.
What those businesses need to understand is that digital transformation is a gradual process and it needn’t happen all at once – but it does need to happen.
What happens if you ignore the need to change?
Failure to embrace change in time leads to businesses not being agile and adaptable to change in a volatile marketplace. In these cases, failure usually resembles a slow deployment of resources. A company may ineffectively use its already limited resources, leading to an uncompetitive business that loses market share rapidly.
Failing to digitally transform also leads to businesses being slow to market. The markets of today value speed of delivery in any service. This is important both in terms of product and solution information and responsiveness as well as final delivery.
If we are not moving in-sync with the speed of this digital age, not only will the gap between us and our customers widen, but new competitors could also easily surpass us. Change is inevitable, and unless we recognise and embrace it, our businesses will fade into the distance.
Measuring digital transformation success
Monitoring the success of digital transformation initiatives is just as important as implementing them in the first place.
One possible indicator of whether you’re heading in the right direction is business responsiveness. It’s important to ask whether the turnaround time for product delivery has improved, and, in turn, whether customer satisfaction has increased. Another factor is yield – whether output quality and percentage yield have improved with better effective utilisation rates.
Whatever metrics are used, developing a system for monitoring digital transformation efforts is key to making sure the business is seeing a return on investment.
How Siemens is embracing digital transformation
Siemens began its transformation back in 2013 with Vision 2020+. Here, the direction was to become more adaptive and business nimble, moving to a more digital-focused company.
Today, Siemens is one of the top 10 industrial software providers and continues this mission.
I am currently leading a highly innovative project, the setup of the Advance Manufacturing Transformation Center (AMTC) here in Singapore, which is being supported by the Digital Industries division.
At the highest level, we are focusing on 14 core technologies, in areas such as IoT, AI, ML, edge computing, cybersecurity, data analytics, additive manufacturing and more. All of these key enabling technologies support digital transformation. They have also further enabled my work in driving the fourth industrial revolution through Additive manufacturing in the ASEAN region.
There is a huge groundswell of awareness driving digital solutions and products throughout Siemens. This can most clearly be seen through our digital communications platform Yammer, which was developed in-house. We also have regular technology information sessions and many cross-organisational working platforms established for employees so that they can participate in digital transformation. We actively encourage innovation through various initiatives, in particular incubators and accelerators, to support internal business spin-offs.
There is a strong ownership culture here at Siemens today. Innovative business ideas are supported and encouraged through various initiatives like Next47. This allows us to be entrepreneurial and develop new ways of working and leading within this growing digital landscape.
Interested in working for a company that’s paving the way for digital transformation and new technologies? Find out more about a career at Siemens.