Leading a Digital Transformation

by , | Sep 10, 2020 | Digital Transformation

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Editor

Digital technologies continue to rapidly advance enabling companies to rethink how they deliver value to their customers. Digital transformation initiatives are at the heart of making fundamental change occur.

The Creatis podcast, In the Key of D using DIGITAL to transform your business, connects with thought leaders on ideas and best practices in driving digital transformation initiatives.

In a recent episode, Evolution Not Revolution—Featuring Stuart Harris, Emerson’s group president of its Digital Transformation business, Stuart Harris, shares ways for manufacturers and producers to drive successful digital transformation initiatives.

After introductions, Stuart is asked to define digital transformation. He explained that it is the use of smart, connected technologies to solve a problem, and it usually involves a change in behavior or work practice. Stuart likes this definition because there is an important technology aspect in digital transformation, but equally if not more important is a people element and a focus on driving an outcome. All three of these components are needed for successful outcomes.

For most manufacturers and producers, embracing digital transformation is critical to their future to remain viable to their customers and remain competitive. The ultimate goal of digital transformation initiatives is to improve performance. Key areas to improve performance include safety, reliability, production and sustainability. Stuart noted that Emerson has developed industry benchmarks in each of these areas. These benchmarks have quantified in dollar terms the differences in Top Quartile performance versus the lower quartiles. Reasons have been identified why companies operate in each of those quartiles in those key areas along with what’s required to move to Top Quartile performance.

Stuart is asked about what is holding many companies back from digital transformation initiatives to drive performance improvements. He explained how there is a lot of hype around digital transformation and it’s hard to cut through all the clutter and determine how best to begin. What’s required is a clear vision, a sound business case in what they are trying to achieve, and a practical roadmap. Without these, companies feel greater risk in undertaking a transformative journey.

While the Digital Transformation business that Stuart leads was formed in the past year, the technologies, expertise and services have been developed and deployed for many decades—an evolution not a revolution. Customers are looking for a partner to help them in their digital transformation initiatives. The formation of Emerson’s Digital Transformation business enabled all the developments to be brought together within a team to help customers through the lifecycle of their transformation efforts—from creating actionable roadmaps to executing projects, applying technologies and supporting ongoing operations in a programmatic approach.

Listen to the podcast for more on how Stuart’s organization engages with clients and to learn about critical success factors in digital transformation. Visit the Digital Transformation section on Emerson.com for more on ways to drive business performance improvements.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.