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10 December 2019

Connecting to a digitally transformed future

Geoff Thorp, Chief Marketing Officer - NHP Electrical Engineering Products

Many of you would have experienced this situation – the warm glow from the sun, sunglasses on, seat belt latched, laptop out whilst precariously holding a can of soft drink. No, I’m not driving my car and breaking the road rules! I’m sitting in window seat 11F at 35,000ft, heading back from the sunny Gold Coast in Queensland en route to my home town of Melbourne.

For the past few days, I’ve been at the ultimate education and training experience. Held over 3 days and offering more than 70 sessions, including thought provoking keynote presentations, expert-led technical sessions plus interactive hands-on labs and demonstrations. This year’s Rockwell Automation TechEd was jam-packed with value, with more than 400 attendees experiencing the power of Rockwell Automation’s ‘Connected Enterprise’, which combines connected smart digital devices opening new windows of visibility into processes, data and analytics, enabling better and faster decision making and seamless connectivity spurring new collaboration. The ‘Connected Enterprise’ converges plant-level and enterprise networks, and securely connects people, processes, and technologies - expanding human possibilities.

As the proud and exclusive distributor for Rockwell Automation throughout the South Pacific region, NHP was also on display at TechEd, showcasing our complementary ‘Connected Energy’ solutions which brings together smart power and digitally enabled distribution technologies making power distribution smart, secure and efficient. Combined, the ‘Connected Enterprise’ powered by ‘Connected Energy’ is what we call ‘Connected Intelligence’ – which brings to life true digital transformation for any industry and application.

The 4th Industrial Manufacturing Revolution (commonly referred to as Industry 4.0 in our local region) is squarely upon us with the rise of cyberphysical, connected and self-aware systems. It’s happening right now at scale, bringing productivity efficiencies, expanding competitive advantages and innovating the end-to-end value chain as part of the digital transformation plans of organizations everywhere.

On one hand (and depending on which research paper you read), 6% of organizations say they have a budgeted digital transformation plan within 3 years, while 23% have a budgeted digital transformation plan within 1 year. On paper, these statistics tend to indicate that there is a level of thought going into digital transformation programs which is great for our industry and our local manufacturing capabilities.

16% of organizations that have implemented their digital transformation plan succeeded in expanding at scale beyond the dreaded pilot stage and have since experienced unprecedented increases in productivity and efficiency, with minimal displacement of employees. Further to this, 29% say they are in pilot stages of implementation – which is where things get interesting. Breaking this down further, organizations that enter the pilot stage end up in the so-called ‘pilot purgatory’ – reiterating, repeating, experimenting, changing, re-investing – with no tangible output or change in performance.

According to the World Economic Forum, only 15% of organizations ran pilot programs of less than 1 year, 56% of organizations indicated pilots of 1-2 years, while 28% of organizations ran pilots for more than 2 years. Most of these organizations struggled to scale up due to the difficulty of aligning in terms of value and return on investment (ROI), the uncertainty of digital’s impact on performance and the cost required to implement and scale.

On the other hand, 26% of organizations today have absolutely no plans in place to invest in Industry 4.0 and/or develop a digital transformation pathway. They are clearly missing out on the myriad opportunities that Industry 4.0 brings - it is more than likely that these organizations will join the likes of Kodak and Blockbuster in ceasing to exist in a short number of years, or at best, being left behind by more forward-thinking competitors.

So, unlike my current situation, where my flight is coming in to land and I need to turn off “….all electronic and digital devices…” (hence I cannot type anything further on my laptop!), you can keep your organization’s electronic and digital devices ‘on’ through digital transformation and benefit from the real and measurable outcomes of achieving productivity efficiencies, expanding competitive advantages and innovating your end-to-end value chain.

If this sounds good to you, I encourage you start the conversation around your digital transformation plans today and explore with us how a ‘Connected’ program will unlock the potential within your organization.

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