Seamless connected operations creates translational value for the connected customer. It’s the New Norm.
That’s a tall order for any business, isn’t it?
Yet, think about it. How else do you establish the operational foundation enabling you to make smarter business decisions, accelerate redesign of business processes and fuel business growth?
Seamless connected operations catalyzes the transition, translation and transformation of how we do business. The focus is on creating extraordinary customer success and end-user experiences, both internally and externally.
I discussed this trend with Barbara Giamanco and Franz Gruber of Forcam as part of the podcast series for Microsoft Dynamics AX. I encourage you to listen to the complete conversation by clicking the following link: https://info.microsoft.com/en-us-wbnr-Betterbusinessthroughconnectedoperations-register.html
What is the driving force behind the trend for seamless connected operations?
Ultimately, seamless connected operations connects operations to customer-facing line of business (LOB) units. The focus becomes more than technical execution to maximize performance, reliability, safety and quality, the hallmarks of manufacturing.
The goal is for the organization to work as a single, interoperable unit. As a result, seamless connected operations catalyze re-enculturation of business as we know it. This scenario also stresses the importance of a robust infrastructure.
Is it paradigm shift time yet? Listen to the podcast and judge for yourself! https://info.microsoft.com/en-us-wbnr-Betterbusinessthroughconnectedoperations-register.html
Let’s take this 30,000’ foot strategy down to a ground game for practical implementation, shall we?
I have 5 plays in my seamless connected operations Playbook. Yes, there are a lot more. However, if you start simply and mindfully, your organization will create a series of successes from small, practical projects.
Start with a strategy rather than diving into a pilot project.
Look before you leap, as they say. Make the business case for seamless connected operations. Assess whether there is a system of internal accountancy and collaboration already in place. Identify gaps among various assets and personnel. Most of all, determine whether your organizational culture is IoT-receptive, ready and enabled. Because you will encounter resistance as people move away from what’s comfortable and familiar.
Become more familiar and conversant with each other.
This strategy is critical to successful pilot project outcome. Work upfront to arrive at a common vocabulary to facilitate cross-functional communication, because communication is critical to project outcome. For example, the IT folks may not initially understand the complexity of OT (operational technology) controls. The Ops folks may not initially understand what a data lake is. And the business folks, well…. Create a common vocabulary. Be patient. Listen to each other to make your organization smarter.
Embrace an entrepreneurial mindset.
One anticipated outcome is that your people are going to become as interoperable as software and equipment have already become. You will make new friends, with people like data scientists and potentially third party integrators. People will work across the organization with various line of business units that they may never have worked with before. It’s a brave new world! Make it OK to fail. Embrace a sense of dis-organization. Is this your traditional way of doing business?
Focus on becoming more data-driven and collaborative.
Creating seamless connected operations creates internal champions out of formerly risk-averse employees. This represents a paradigm shift in roles, processes and functions. Create collaborative environments which encourage people to think more critically. Start by focusing on areas where everyone is already comfortable, such as moving away from manual tools and replacing these with digitized versions. Or working with small data sets instead of big data lakes. Then scale the effort horizontally throughout the organization.
Create sandboxes and pilot projects with the greatest potential for breadth and depth of IoT transition and translation.
Everyone becomes more curious and scientific in this ecosystem. Be prepared to grow your own internal champions. Pilot projects dealing with control (system and machine level) are a great place to create, capture and quantify value. Trim operations costs by digitizing redundant, manual processes which currently have a high degree of operator error. Make your business case by targeting a series of small projects and small wins.
Does your organization have a strategy for seamless connected operations?
Listen to our conversation. Let me know whether it aligns with how you are planning on approaching your organization’s digital transformation.
Babette Ten Haken writes, speaks, consults and coaches about collaborative value creation for customer success and customer retention. She connects the dots between strategy and execution.
Babette works across leadership, human capital / HR and technical/IT/engineering teams within the industrial Internet of Things ecosystem. Her focus? Creating enduring business outcomes. Babette’s playbook of technical / non-technical collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. Visit the Free Resources section of her website for more tools.
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