In the past year, we have seen a surge in organizations undergoing digital transformation initiatives, some by choice and others out of necessity. This article discusses the growing role that leadership plays in accelerating digital transformation within their organizations.

Increasing digital transformation investments

When a leader embarks on the journey of enabling digital transformation across their organization, they are fundamentally changing the way their business operates. Instantly, they gain connectivity to everything from an individual motor to the average daily tool time for the maintenance team members.

At the start of CoViD-19, many organizations were forced to increasing their efforts toward digital transformation. A recent survey projects that by the year 2024, direct investments from organizations into digital transformation will reach a total of $7.8 trillion USD.

The evolving role of leadership in accelerating digital transformation

Digital transformation is a topic that will continue to occur across many industries, and especially regarding asset performance, maintenance, and reliability. Particularly with the increased emphasis on Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

How can leaders ensure they are thoughtfully planning, deploying, and maximizing their transformation strategy across their entire organization?

Enabling company-wide digital transformation

A recent survey found that, although 70% of organizations have a digital transformation strategy, only 10% have a complete deployment strategy.

The evolving role of leadership in accelerating digital transformation

For organizational leaders to enable company-wide adoption, they must holistically plan, deploy, and sustain their transformation strategy. Such success relies on leadership’s confidence in their deployment strategy, which is not quite as easy purchasing a new software solution or hiring a worker.

These are the key areas to focus on for a successful digital transformation strategy.

The evolving role of leadership in accelerating digital transformation

Sparking a cultural change

Digital transformation naturally spurs a cultural transformation, which can be one of the biggest challenges for leaders because it can breed friction between the way things were previously done and how they need to be done today.

Here’s how leaders can prepare to evolve their organization’s culture to meet new standards and succeed in their initiatives”

  • Introduce the initiative company-wide from the start to ensure there is transparency and early support
  • Communicate exactly how it will affect employees and business operations
  • Champion a collaborative and proactive problem-solving approach
  • Include representation across departments to serve as allies and rally their people

The biggest success factor will be entire buy-in and confidence in the strategy by the entire organization. How can leaders empower workers to gain confidence in their initiatives and promote the adoption of a digital transformation strategy?

The evolving role of leadership in accelerating digital transformation

Worker empowerment

Organizations are 1.4x’s times more likely to report progress in their digitalization efforts when employees are engaged and feel empowered to contribute to the transition.

A key aspect of this empowerment is providing the resources and tools to build the necessary skills to adapt.

Worker resources:

  • Internal seminars and workshops to educate employees on the transition plan
  • Learning modules on the new systems, tools, and processes
  • Skill-building programs which create standard operating procedures and transition workers who are unfamiliar with the new tools
  • Succession programs, which help to avoid having any part of the strategy lost to employee turnover due to factors such as retirement or role changes.

Additionally, encouraging feedback is vitally important – a McKinsey study found that leaders in key transformation roles who encouraged workers to challenge the old way of doing things reported 1.7x’s more success than peers.

With confidence from the workforce, leaders can effectively maximize how they use the data insights they have acquired.

The evolving role of leadership in accelerating digital transformation

Leveraging data connectivity in decision-making

Beyond insights on equipment and plant health, connected data allows leaders to make informed and balanced decisions in several other areas.

One of these is using worker connectivity tools to understand which decisions can be automated or delegated to lower levels so that they can free-up bandwidth for others. This also helps to improve individual productivity, ensure worker safety, and manage risk for the company.

Beyond that, monitoring tools help management view which broader maintenance strategies are running effectively, which areas need improvement, and how to improve the likelihood of success. A previously published article discusses how data insights can serve as a competitive edge for your maintenance strategy.

company leader staring at camera

Ensuring organizational success

There is one additional step that successful organizations take. They invest in digital transformation expertise to help identify early barriers, understand which tools and processes will be most effective, and to develop a cohesive full-scope plan.

MaxGrip consultants provide the experience and proven systems to accelerate digital transformation across a broad range of industries.

Read about a few of our partners who develop the tools to enable digital transformation across your organization.

Want to understand how your digital transformation initiatives are performing? We can help.

📰 Watch our Recorded Webinar: Roadblocks in scaling up digital transformation

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