Digital readiness is defined by the level of readiness of an organization's workforce to transition into digitized workflows that are enabled by software and technology. Undergoing a technology transformation does not just denote an organization’s investment in IT assets - it consists of three components: culture, process and technology.

Employees are the fundamental units of any business organization. As a business works to realign their objectives and fortify their infrastructure with technology, the transition must begin at the people level. The quicker the employees are able to adopt these evolving technologies, the smoother the road to digital transformation will be. Active workforce participation is crucial in this journey.

Key Concepts That Support Digital Readiness

The drive to adopt data-driven technologies is rapidly changing the face of today’s workforce.

Keeping up with the pace of transition is highly critical for success and manufacturers will need to reconfigure processes and technology to take on this challenge.

The journey towards a digital transformation begins with a digital readiness assessment of an existing technology framework to identify where the organization currently stands. This is an important preliminary step as the rest of the process would largely depend on its outcome. The precursory assessment is followed by an exercise of identifying viable digital talent and talent gaps – training sessions and workshops or additional recruitment can be carried out to complete this phase. As an organization progresses through each stage of implementation, it is beneficial to build a digital talent archive that could help provide support for the workforce in the long run.

Digital transformation is the all-encompassing integration of digital technology that transforms and streamlines the day to day procedures of a business. It also creates an environment and culture that requires proactive participation throughout the organization.

Digitization

Digitization is the process of converting information from a physical format to a more user friendly, computer systems based, digital one. For example, the conversion of a cassette tape into binary pits and flats of a compact disc. It creates the basic foundation from which data can be leveraged based on specific requirements, ultimately creating business value.

Digitalization

Digitalization is the process of harnessing the power of digitization to optimize business processes. It provides the use of digital technologies and data to switch towards digital workflows, create a digital culture, and tap into potential avenues for revenue. Processes become more efficient, productive, and profitable.

Digital Transformation

The main objective of digital transformation is to improve efficiency, manage risk and identify fresh avenues for monetization. It transcends across the spectrum of conventional roles and responsibilities. An evolving digital culture will empower the manufacturing industry to move away from bulky accounting ledgers to spreadsheets for more streamlined business processes.

Digital transformation has two dimensions- a cultural dimension and an individual dimension. The cultural dimension begins at the organizational level. This could be either the operational or infrastructural changes within the work environment. For example, the replacement of access cards with a biometric system or shift towards cloud computation.

The individual dimension is where the real power and potential of the digital transformation. As an organization begins its journey towards digital transformation, it is imperative that employees across all verticals be digitally equipped to become active contributors. Appropriate training sessions and adequate skill enhancement workshops can be an impactful starting point.

Digital Acumen

Digital acumen are the basic skill sets required to carry out digital operations. This can range from the task of an operator to that of a complex level machine learning programmer. Digitization and digitalization also call for strict measures of cyber security to protect the confidentiality of data. The employee workforce will have to follow protocol to ensure the safeguard or data and avoid careless errors.

Breaking Down Digital Readiness

Assessing the digital readiness of a manufacturing enterprise is the key to defining the feasibility for digital adoption.

An assessment should help benchmark the manufacturer’s maturity to leverage the power of IoT and machine learning enabled digital transformation. It should also be able to define areas for prioritization to bridge gaps in a digitally sophisticated operation. Understanding the digital readiness to this detail helps select and implement initiatives that moves the organization closer to manufacturing success.
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How Knowing Readiness Helps Your Transformation

As in all enterprise transformation initiatives, clear definition of the qualification of the manufacturing operations from different dimensions is critical. It helps clearly define the as-is state before the intended to-be state can be defined. The path to reach the destination in digital maturity is defined by where an organization starts from. Understanding the readiness to embark on the digital transformation hence becomes the key for success.

A comprehensive digital readiness assessment needs to cover three important dimensions of process improvement. They are Culture (People), Process and Technology.

Culture Assessment

Manufacturing operations, like all businesses, rely on people for its operations. Automation, augmentation and intelligence can empower or aid the workforce, not eliminate it. It is critical to consider the impact of people and the culture they practice in a manufacturing enterprise. This will help the assessment define the roles played by different people in the organization. It will help measure and define adoption of data driven manufacturing. It will also establish the stage of implementation of relevant initiatives like predictive analytics, machine learning etc. if already in place.

Process Assessment

Process mitigates or eliminates risk in operations. So understanding the process and its adherence is a critical part of the assessment towards digital maturity. Ensuring there is seamless flow of data and role justified visibility guided by process is critical for the success of a digitally enabled manufacturing environment. This will help establish a cohesive eco-system that enables data driven decision making at different levels. Standardizing measures of success and enabling relevant visibility will not only demonstrate progress but also highlight areas of concerns. The reliance on manual processes via an automated and digitally connected process could be the difference between an organization that is ready for its digital journey and one that is not.

Technology Assessment

Last but not least, an important paradigm for assessing readiness is technology. Technology is key to automate processes, make adoption scalable, improve compliance, empower personnel, and improve visibility. Digital readiness needs a basic level of technological maturity to enable the organization to receive and employ the benefits of emerging technologies. For example, connected enterprises will be a key requirement for IIoT enablement. Data handling will be a key requirement for artificial intelligence and machine learning in manufacturing. Availability of centralized plant information through Historians or MES systems etc. is critical for data analytics and Big Data. Pre-existing operational improvement initiatives running on integrated ERPs and MES can go a long way towards digital readiness. There could be many more aspects that can define digital readiness from a technology perspective.

Ready For A Digital Transformation In Your Organization?

Access your digital readiness with industrial IoT today.

Digital Readiness Assessment

Oden has developed an intuitive DIY tool that allows a user to complete their own digital readiness assessment.

It addresses all the three dimensions of the digital readiness assessment addressed in the previous section, namely culture, process and technology. The tool allows different participants in a manufacturing process to come together and define the organization’s readiness for a digital transformation initiative. It also helps define the as-is state in the journey of digital transformation. After completing the assessment, strengths can be identified, as well suggest areas for consideration and consolidate the level of sophistication that an organization has achieved.

How to Use It

The tool is designed to be self-administered by the participating manufacturing organization. It needs inputs from a diverse set of audience. It involves data points from all levels in the organization. The tool best works when a single owner uses it to conduct short surveys with different audiences and consolidates answers to best represent the various aspects of digital maturity.

How to Get Results

Oden’s digital readiness assessment tool can be administered by the manufacturing enterprise. The results are then analyzed by a combination of algorithms based on standard best practices and subject matter experts of Oden. Representatives from Oden will present the findings to the participating organization. The findings of the organization’s preparedness to take on digital transformation initiatives will be accompanied by how Oden’s offerings can help in the process. The relevance of application of Oden’s solutions to leverage the current digital maturity of the manufacturer can define the path to the “to-be” state of a digitally transformed enterprise.

What To Expect

The digital readiness assessment from Oden is useful in benchmarking any manufacturer in its digital roadmap. The progress towards success in digital transformation varies from organization to organization. The digital readiness assessment helps the participating manufacturer to plot their progress and compare with contemporary standards in this journey. It can help to define the areas of success and progress that are unique to every manufacturer. The report not only maps the relevance of Oden’s offerings to a manufacturer, but it can prove to be a useful document in the selection of any relevant technology.

Is Your Manufacturing Process Digitally Ready?

Take your first step today in your journey towards digital transformation by taking the digital readiness assessment.

Ready For A Digital Transformation In Your Organization?

Access your digital readiness with industrial IoT today.