Digital transformation enablers are specific digital technologies, best practices, or approaches that (surprise!) enable digital transformation. The effect of a given enabler extends beyond the resolution of technical problems into discovering challenges, providing new perspectives on current problems, and uncovering previously unconsidered use cases. The disruption expands beyond the boundary of technology and into the business realm, transforming how companies think, operate, and act.
Industrial digital transformation (IDX) is a business endeavor focused on applying digital transformation enablers in industry. It implies strategic realignment of the organization to improve business models, industrial models, and processes and ultimately to create new ones. An example of an industrial digital transformation enabler is “machine learning”.
An industrial digital transformation enabler playbook describes a DXE, how to use it, provides examples of its use in real-world applications, describes issues that have to be considered, the concerns that have to be dealt with, and how. A playbook offers examples and insights into ways this enabler has been successfully deployed in industrial IoT environments to transform businesses and their operations. It provides guidance to help organizations uncover transformative solutions to deal with customer problems, enabling the creation of value-added services that drive new revenue streams.
A playbook is aimed at a wide range of stakeholders, such as the CXOs who are mainly concerned about digital transformation and how a technology enables it, and the system architects, engineers and operators who implement and operate it. It helps a stakeholder understand how this DXE can transform a core process and ultimately a business, ranging from strategies to policies. DX efforts are driven by business initiatives often motivated by pain points, such as difficulties in uploading software to automobiles or the high costs associated with unscheduled maintenance.
A DXE playbook comprises a set of directions that complement the maps that frameworks provide. A framework describes the preparatory work needed before the DX journey can start, the type of sponsorship needed to support the initiative, and the stakeholders and leadership involved in the execution of the initiative. A specific playbook looks at the role of the DEXE in enabling the sought-after transformation and accelerating it. Some DXEs apply to a specific set of application verticals, although many can be employed universally. Examples are included for a deeper understanding.
The following diagram highlights the steps involved in using a digital transformation enabler:
These steps are typically executed in the following order:
- The reader understands the DXE playbook.
- That knowledge enables tasks that support the DX journey.
- This journey enables the organization to achieve a transformative outcome.
- The organization is now equipped to fulfill new goals.
- Gap analysis shows how the organization can be improved and drives the creation of new requirements.
- New requirements may call for deploying a new technology that has not yet been considered.
- The reader obtains another DXE playbook focused on this new technology and restarts the process.
With a DXE playbook, we have the tools to be able to understand the DXE, how to apply it, and transform our businesses. They turn headwinds into tailwinds.