Digital transformation can help facilities reduce costs and add value to their programs. With all the recent buzz surrounding digital transformation, it can be easy to question- what is digital transformation and how does it actually benefit my program?

Digital transformation is the acceleration of existing processes, resulting in faster data collection, analysis, and decision making. Facilities often transform their digital presence by digitizing important elements of their current processes such as drawings, fields documentation, and asset-specific information. Digitizing these elements helps facilities optimize their budget by streamlining processes and information across the organization.

While most leaders understand that digitizing is beneficial to their programs, approximately 39% of organizations feel that the integration of digital transformation is their greatest challenge.

Digital transformation can be challenging for many facilities because of the amount of time, money, and resources it can take to complete. However, facilities do not have to digitize their entire program at the same time to realize the benefits of digitization. Facilities can begin by digitizing specific elements and building off that digital foundation.

Before facilities begin their journey of digital transformation, they need to focus on three key elements:

  1. Understand the elements of a digital transformation
  2. Determine the readiness of their program to incorporate digital transformation
  3. Identify common mistakes that could increase costs and extend the recovery of the program’s value

The Elements of Digital Transformation

Digital transformation consists of three important elements:

Human Behavior

Human behavior:

To have a success digital transformation, facilities need to be able to change the behaviors of their employees. Ensuring all employees clearly understand the value of digitizing existing processes will help facilities have a smoother digital transformation.

Structure

Structure:

Similar to a blueprint of a house, the structure element of digital transformation encapsulates the processes and governance of the program’s foundation. Without a proper structure, facilities will have a difficult time knowing which elements to digitize and how they should be organized.

Tools

Tools:

Utilizing the most up-to-date cloud-based software or latest machine learning algorithm tools can help a facility transform their digital presence. However, many facilities place too great an emphasis on having the latest tools and do not spend as much time focusing on the human behavior and structure elements of digital transformation.

Is Your Program Ready for Digital Transformation?

To determine if their programs are ready for digital transformation, facilities need to evaluate the current and future states of their facility. Facilities should evaluate the current state of their program by determining if they have:

  • Dedicated roles within their organization focused on managing the changes that will result from digital transformation
  • A clear picture of their digital process landscape
  • A process map that highlights all the interactions between their processes
  • Holistic alignment across their organization on the proposed path forward for digital transformation?

Next, facilities need to determine what they want their program to look like in the future. Why do they want to implement these changes? How are they going to implement the changes? What tools are needed to accomplish the digital transformation? Leadership alignment on the future state of the program will help ensure facilities are organized and ready to begin the digitization process.

Common Mistakes of Digital Transformation

It’s important for facilities to be aware of the common mistakes that can happen during digitization to avoid wasting time and resources. The most common mistake that can occur during digital transformation is a lack of accountability and ownership. Many facilities will rely on an internal committee to design and own the digitization process. While collaboration is important, it’s crucial for facilities to assign clear owners of the initiative to ensure there are clear objectives and direction.

Another common mistake that facility leadership can make during digital transformation is focusing too heavily on the tools needed for digitization and not focusing on the human behavior and structure elements. While implementing the correct tools is an important element of digital transformation, without the buy-in and willingness to change from employees and having an organized program structure, a program will not recognize the full benefits of digitization.

Other common mistakes facilities can make during the transformation include creating an unrealistic execution plan based on what they perceive as their program’s current state and having a lack of clarity on the value of change before, during, and after the implementation.

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