How smart organisations embrace digital transformation
In a recent study by the World Economics Forum and Boston Consulting Group, it was revealed that the construction and engineering (C&E) sector is one of the least productive due to outdated business models, strategies and capabilities that fail to recognise the value in emerging technologies.
GIS, AR, IoT and other digital engineering acronyms aside, technology has an enormous role to play in improving productivity and safety across organisations, their partners and their clients. It’s become business critical to embrace digital transformation to meet the growing expectations of consumers, delivering extraordinary experiences while reducing operational costs. Agile organisations gain a competitive edge by leveraging the latest technologies while those who are slower to react are left behind.
In the utilities industry, for example, the migration of consumers from established utilities to growing startups in the UK has been accelerated by government initiatives such as the ECO Policy and Green Deal. A record-breaking 5.5 million UK customers switched utility providers last year, highlighting a dissatisfaction with traditional service models and a demand for a better customer experience.
The power sector is particularly ripe for digital transformation, with an estimated $1.3 trillion to be made globally before 2025 through the digitisation of asset management, optimisation of electricity network flows and innovative customer-centric products.
The organisations that benefit the most from technological innovation are the ones that engage their entire organisation in the transformational journey – not just the IT department.
With the potential to drastically improve communication, workflows, safety and efficiencies across multiple teams, intelligent software and technology platforms can even lead organisations to fundamentally change their operational and structural DNA.
Digital Transformation in Asset Management
Whatever the industry, it’s safe to say consumers want easy, personalised and reliable service. For organisations that fail to meet these expectations, loyalty counts for little and the threat of losing out is real. In the US, it’s estimated that businesses lose $1.6 trillion per year as a result of poor customer experiences.
The way RedEye embraces digital transformation is through the development of a Common Data Environment (CDE) cloud-based platform for asset management. It allows asset owners and operators to access data at anytime, from anywhere in the world. We are developing GIS maps functionality to give a comprehensive location-based view of assets and users will be able to view a digital twin of their asset in realtime using 3D modelling, embedded asset data, equipment and asset field settings, ranges, equipment supplier data, datasheets. This technology is a game changer for asset management as downtime is costly and safety issues can be catastrophic.
RedEye also assists with management of maintenance in the field. Jobs can be planned for all contractors with an online tool that is accessible from laptop, tablet and mobile. Information is shared immediately between all asset stakeholders with links to various asset data. Data can be added and new issues can be raised by users in the field so that asset owners always have the latest information. With the development of IoT data, RedEye will allow for live updating of parameters in the field. Real-time health and asset monitoring will improve customer satisfaction as issues such as leakages, pressure drops and power outages will be addressed quicker.
With integrations between both RedEye products and other relevant platforms, asset owners can decide what (if any) of their information becomes available to the public domain, based on group and user settings within the software. This enables customers to view what issues are being resolved, log their own issues online and review the status. This is where customer satisfaction becomes the focal point of the organisation.
Selling the vision
Bringing about these changes starts with people. Internal resistance is one of the biggest challenges to conquer. Without buy-in from the board right through to frontline teams, even the most innovative of customer experience strategies will be doomed to fail.
Employee behaviour has to reflect the experience you are creating through digital evolution, as they are the ambassadors for making your service better and championing the customer throughout the transformation. They need to understand how they fit into the new operating models that are embracing digital transformation demands, how teams need to work differently and how they can think differently. The RedEye Customer Success team works with clients to ensure their change management challenges are met. They engage with employees at all levels, as required, to ensure the digital transformation process runs smoothly.
So how do you, as a champion of digital transformation, sell your vision to an organisation to give it the best chance to succeed?
Engage the entire organisation
It’s crucial to have engagement from all levels of the organisation, from board level downwards. This is a fundamental transformation process that will touch every aspect of the business and to truly benefit, the entire organisation needs to be engaged in the journey and adopt the mindset necessary to embrace new technologies.
Demystify the terminology
Digital engineering, machine learning, intelligent machines, cognitive platforms, deep learning, intelligent technology, artificial intelligence, robotics, robotic process automation, intelligent products, virtual assistants, Internet of Things, APIs… the list goes on and on. These new capabilities are wrapped in a language that, to many, is impenetrable. Find ways to simplify it and educate everyone so you’re all speaking the same language.
Champion the role of storytelling
To support the evolution of your customer experience strategy and give your teams useful parameters, try developing user stories for your key personas. Establishing these at either end of the spectrum will allow you to explore the narrative through each stage of the customer lifecycle from acquisition through to retention.
You should also consider how to effectively communicate this. Try to avoid PowerPoint – nobody ever felt inspired by an 80-slide deck. Instead, consider media that champions the role of storytelling. Create long print scrolls, books or short films to engage and connect everyone within the business to the same vision. Be visual and tactile to communicate how it will look and feel.
Have a game plan
Support your storytelling with a framework that translates the future customer experience into design principles and actions. This will become the brief for teams to design their specific customer experience and will help nurture the ongoing belief in the vision internally and externally.
Bring in business areas early
Reinforce the idea that digital transformation is more than an IT initiative. Bring in other business areas early to work on the proof of concept. It’s important to help your teams recognise how their role adds value to the customer and to the business. Your goal should be to empower your organisation by setting the direction without providing all of the solutions.
For the first time, technologies now exist to radically transform all aspects of an established utility organization. Utilities now need to embrace innovation, at all levels of the organization, to deliver extraordinary brand experience. The potential of digital transformation is yet to be fully realised but the warning signs for organisations in construction and engineering are clear – those that don’t act now and embark on digital transformation will rapidly be left behind.
Digital Engineering Lead
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