Behind the scenes of the world’s leading industrial and manufacturing companies, a profound digital transformation is now underway.
Industrial leaders are digitizing essential functions within their internal vertical operations processes, as well as with their horizontal partners along the value chain. In addition, they are enhancing their product portfolio with digital functionalities and introducing innovative, data-based services.
The 2,000+ companies that PWC surveyed are expecting to dramatically increase their overall level of digitization. While just 33% rate their company as advanced today, that number jumps to over 70% looking ahead to 2020. The biggest challenge of industrial leaders isn’t technology - it is the people. While digital technologies are rapidly becoming a commodity, success largely depends on an organization’s Digital IQ, especially how well its digital leaders like the CEO, CTO, or CIO define, lead, and communicate the transformation.
It’s also dependent upon the digital qualifications of the employees who need to roll out digital processes and services. Radical disruption isn’t always comfortable for the people who make it happen, so change management will also be critical. And with data analytics becoming a core capability for every industrial company, enhancing skills and organizational structures will be critical.
Digital IQ emphasizes that while investing in the right technologies is important, ultimately success or failure will depend not on specific sensors, algorithms or analytics programs, but on a broader range of peoplefocused factors. Industrial companies need to develop a robust digital culture and to make sure change is driven by clear leadership from the C-suite. They’ll also need to attract, retain, and train digital natives and other employees who are comfortable working in a dynamic ecosystem environment.
The PWC survey gives you a deep global insight of the key elements of Industry 4.0 and the process of transition.
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As a 25 year veteran of business leadership, one of the most important things I’ve been reminded of during my recent research is that, as leaders, we should never stop learning our craft or honing our skills.
Technology and digitalization are demanding leadership transformation. Several broadly applicable recommendations to guide forward-thinking organizations in the era of omnipresent disruption emerged during IRC Global Executive Search Partners’ C-Suite Roundtable Discussions held in Singapore, Amsterdam, and Miami in early 2018.