Digital transformation means different things to different businesses, but there are some common guidelines to help ensure each company achieves successful implementations.
My article in the August 2023 issue of InTech, titled Implementing Digital Transformation, provides information about the digital transformation journey and offers some practical suggestions about how to proceed.
Some of the most popular digital transformation results expected by users are:
- Optimized efficiency
- Improved quality assurance
- Minimized downtime
- Improved sustainability
- Better support for problem-solving
- Increased safety
Emerson offers a complete portfolio of hardware, software, and networking products so users can create new systems—or upgrade existing legacy systems—outfitted with a seamless and transparent Floor to Cloud™ architecture.
Begin the journey
Digital transformation is an ongoing evolution and iterative process, leveraging many technologies. Each step forward may reveal other issues, which in turn need to be addressed. These projects use multiple technologies to access field-sourced “little data” from the operational technology (OT) assets located at the edge. This data is then transported to higher-level information technology (IT) resources, either on-prem or in the cloud, for “big data” analysis to support development of data-driven actions.
Ask these questions
Whether the company is an end user, an OEM, or a systems integrator, the following questions should be asked and answered:
- What problem is being solved?
- Who is affected?
- Why does the problem need solving?
- Is the problem worth solving?
- What information do we need to solve the problem?
The first four questions identify pain points, who is impacted, and the benefit and value of solving the problem. The fifth question exposes what source data is needed. However, the “automation maturity level” of a company’s people, technology, and data will affect how easily the information can be accessed.
Data may be stranded because it is isolated, ignored, under-sampled, outright inaccessible, or non-digitalized. Digital transformation offers solutions to help companies progress from manual operations, or even islands of automation, to more connected and insight-driven operations.
Start small, then scale successes
Implementers will find the best success by breaking down any big project into a few smaller items, with results for each readily quantifiable. As a proven leader in the industrial automation and computing field, Emerson can help by offering a comprehensive digital transformation platform, including essential elements such as:
- Field devices: sensors, actuators, motor controllers
- Computing hardware: protocol and network conversion gateways, PLCs/PACs, edge controllers, operator interfaces, industrial PCs
- Software: control development environments, HMI/SCADA, data servers, analytics for productivity and energy management, edge computing, and connectivity
- Services: implementation expertise supported by a team of engineers and developers
A key goal of digital transformation is connecting smart technologies to valuable field data, to provide visibility and analytics-supported actionable results.
Implementers are best facilitated by selecting and building their solutions using a comprehensive digital transformation platform—consisting of field devices, computing hardware, control/visualization/edge software, and services—provided by a leader in the industrial automation and computing field.
Visit Emerson.com for more information on creating digital transformation success.