The Internet of Things, augmented reality, virtual reality, digitized twins, artificial intelligence… these technologies are constantly vying for our attention, 4.0 times over. The danger is that you could spread yourself to thin with a multitude of solutions.
A piecemeal approach is used by solving problems one after the other, without an overall strategy. We will be looking at the reasons that make us choose this approach and discuss the ultimate way to avoid it.
Why choose a piecemeal approach?
“After all, it only takes $1,000 of equipment: we already have the servers for new software installation, so it only needs to be configured… no coding,” they say!
Piecemeal solutions are often preferred and solve the issue… for a while. There are several reasons why an organization would choose these solutions:
- We often try to treat a symptom instead of addressing the real cause of the problem. This is not to cause harm. We want a quick solution to ease the problem. Unfortunately, by focusing on the symptom, we only look at part of, not the entire, process.
- It’s difficult (and can be scary) to picture the future and imagine our work progressing. That’s why people often choose the first solution that doesn’t involve too many changes.
- We often mistakenly believe that it’s expensive to establish a long-term vision. On the contrary, taking the time to think about it before implementing a solution can be very cost effective: less inadequate equipment, more suitable and sustainable solution in the long term, etc.
A holistic vision to prevent piecemeal
To prevent piecemeal solutions, it’s critical for business leaders to establish a clear vision of their digital approach. By vision, we’re not talking about a plan that dictates what technology to use and for what purpose. The vision must be tangible, widespread and somehow make employees dream. It must focus on overall improvement rather than on one-off improvements. Of course, for sustainable improvement solutions, it will take time to review processes and address change appropriately.
The vision provides several benefits:
- It serves as a transmission belt for change.
- It acts as a filter to eliminate or review ideas that don’t bring expected value.
- It allows stakeholders to think about how they can be involved in this transformation.
- It helps establish prerequisites that can be set up at the best time. For example, there may be no point in deploying a large-scale wireless network just to retrieve a single piece of data. However, if it’s aligned with the vision, it may be a good idea to test or deploy a proof of concept.
- It helps identify the right partners to work with to develop solutions. No one specializes in all areas. In digital transformation, it’s essential to surround ourselves with trusted partners who will help us achieve our objectives.
- It supports an iterative approach based on continual improvement that will have the desired direction. These approaches are recognized for being more cost effective and for generating short-term value.
Of course, establishing your vision requires a great deal of involvement, but the benefits speak for themselves. Implementing a vision 4.0 for digital transformation is the key to preventing the pitfall of the piecemeal approach.
Want to learn more about Vision 4.0? Contact our team.
About the Author
Jean-François Beaulieu is a Digital Transformation Advisor at BBA