“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” ― Dwight D. Eisenhower
As Supreme Allied Commander of Allied Expeditionary Forces in WWII, Eisenhower was tasked with planning and executing the invasion of Normandy in June 1944. To say that the largest seaborne invasion in history required planning is a gross understatement. Supply chain challenges and coordination of forces were critical to success. The magnitude of the effort can be illustrated in one statistic – more than 125,000,000 maps, (paper maps at that) were used in the planning process.
Digital transformation may seem like a battle for enterprises who don’t know where to begin. No doubt leaders of these enterprises have heard the drumbeat, get on the transformation train or risk being left at the station. Some execs want to board the train, but shiny new IIoT technologies like analytics and machine learning may be causing temporary blindness affecting their ability to see where it is they want to go. Rather than placing the initial focus on technology, this blogger’s advice is to initially focus on planning and change management. For organizations struggling with how and where to begin, the expertise of an objective third party can be well worth the investment.
Planning offers the opportunity to review the entire organization and identify the goals and objectives to be achieved. Short-term plans should be aligned with long-term plans. Planning also enables priorities to be identified so they can be clearly communicated to the workforce. Measurable and achievable metrics that are aligned with expectations should be implemented. As a collaborative process, planning instills a sense of ownership and accountability that will be necessary to support the cultural change that will accompany transformation.
A plethora of options are available to wannabes seeking unbiased third party consultation to guide the internal team, unbiased being the operative word here. The objectivity of outside expertise enables them to discover the real problem as well as precludes any internal biases from usurping the process. Their knowledge of industry best practices and strategic thinking deliver valuable insight to clients. For executives considering boarding the train, but not yet ready to buy a ticket, ARC’s Industrial IoT/Industrie 4.0 Viewpoints is a good starting point to quickly and cost effectively learn about digital transformation tools, strategies and success stories.
About ARC Advisory Group (www.arcweb.com): Founded in 1986, ARC Advisory Group is a Boston based leading technology research and advisory firm for industry and infrastructure.
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About the Author:
Paula's focus area is Asset Lifecycle Management and Asset Performance Management, specifically Plant Asset Management and Asset Reliability. She also contributes to ARC's Process Automation and Field System teams.
Paula's focus is on Asset Lifecycle Management, specifically Plant Asset Management and Asset Reliability. She has authored Worldwide Outlook reports in both of these areas of the Asset Lifecycle Management domain. Other areas in which Paula has been involved include Field Devices (Flow, Level, and Pressure), Process Analytical Chemistry, Intelligent Pumping Systems, and Laboratory Information Management Systems.