[White Paper] Digital Transformations in Industrial Companies

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[White Paper] Digital Transformations in Industrial Companies

Industrial companies in fields such as manufacturing, transportation, and infrastructure undertake digital transformations for various reasons: To build the digital sophistication needed to survive and thrive in a connected technological world. To simplify unwieldy systems or overlapping, repetitive processes. To respond to the new challenges and increased digital expectations resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. To use digital capabilities such as smart buildings, smart infrastructure, digital twins, and the internet of things (IoT)—and the enormous amount of real-time data they generate—to make their operations smarter, more efficient, and more resilient. To seize competitive advantage by creating new business models or lines of revenue. Or for all of these reasons and more.

But transforming an industrial organization is no easy task. Only 30% of transformations for all companies achieve their objectives, according to recent research from Boston Consulting Group.

To transform their firms successfully, executives leading these massive change efforts must set the goals and priorities, align all levels of the company, communicate changes to employees, update legacy systems, invest in new tools and new skills, and choose a digital partner that can help the effort succeed. In addition, leaders must know the security risks of connecting information technologies (IT) and operational technologies (OT) through the internet, as the 2021 Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack brought starkly to light. And they must do all this under rising pressure from customers, regulators, and investors to meet new environmental standards. Getting all of these details right is a challenge—but companies that do may see improved operational efficiencies, cost savings, and long-term business viability.

There is no shortage of pressing needs for industrial companies to address with their digital transformations. Strategy, business models, technology, cybersecurity, staffing, sustainability—business leaders must address them all at once. Working with a partner can help a company beat the odds and pull off a successful transformation, but it’s just as important for the company to set itself up to learn and keep transforming in the future.

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 This is a  Siemens-sponsored thought leadership white paper by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services.