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The people fueling digital transformation

Digital transformation is no longer a buzzword. And for good reason: no industry is immune to it. In the last decade alone, we’ve made incredible strides in technology, with the growing field of data and machine learning helping fuel those advances.

But considering how rapidly technology innovation has been disrupting industries, it’s no surprise that industry leaders are feeling the heat when it comes to reconfiguring teams and deploying the proper technologies to benefit their business’ bottom line. According to Gartner, 20% of CEOs are taking a digital-first approach to business change. This shift starts at the top and requires complete employee buy-in to achieve success.

Digital transformation can’t thrive unless your organization has a culture that’s willing and able to embrace it. Organization-wide adoption requires teams to change their processes, shift their thinking and reject the status quo. Essentially, what was once a speculative shift has now become a necessary reality for many.

The human element

Becoming a digital leader isn’t just a matter of being tech savvy, it’s about creating an agile organization that can detect what type of change is essential and respond quickly with the most competitive solution. In all of this, the human element involved in understanding machines and digital process is the glue that holds everything together. In essence, the right answer will be derived from a mix of technology and human brainpower.

When issues arise, the best-served businesses will be staffed with the people who have a deep understanding of the nuances of what’s wrong, no matter what the data may be telling them. In these cases, human insight is an invaluable source that helps organizations better connect the dots. These are the people — engineers and data scientists — who are able to assess situations occurring in the digital world and derive from this the stories that are meaningful.

Digital roles in the industrial world

This adoption of digital technology in the industrial world is changing how businesses are run right down to their core. Digital brings with it new levels of innovation and productivity that deliver real, tangible outcomes.

Industrial companies, for example, are entering a new period of change. From the smallest valve to the largest locomotive engine, industrial assets each play a critical role in powering our world. But to ensure these assets are reliable it takes more than data analytics — it requires an entire ecosystem composed harmoniously of humans and technology alike.

Organizations that design, build, operate, maintain and service industrial assets have people with the right background and skill sets to support the lifecycle of the asset, making them best suited to help others with IIoT on their digital industrial transformation journey. The engineers who create and prototype equipment also understand the physics behind the design needed to transform a blueprint into a machine. It’s those people who actually put it together with the most experience in that domain, and recognize the cause of failure. Without that type of human experience it’s impossible to understand the nuances of that equipment

Leaders in the industrial world who are still skeptical about digital industrial transformation should take note of the fact that digital industrial transformation is being adopted more rapidly and in more places than they might expect. But it’s the minds behind the machines helping fuel that growth.

The bottom line is the best results will occur when technology and humans collaborate to create an entire ecosystem — something that technology alone cannot outrun.

All IoT Agenda network contributors are responsible for the content and accuracy of their posts. Opinions are of the writers and do not necessarily convey the thoughts of IoT Agenda.

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