For years now, the Digital Revolution, Industry 4.0, and IIoT have been the drumbeat buzzwords promising a steady march towards a promised land where no one ever holds a clipboard or manually inputs data into a spreadsheet ever again. Where the productivity of a facility increases by orders of magnitude, and the workforce is freed from mindless repetitive tasks to focus on new efficiencies and targeted process improvements. Where proactive and predictive maintenance is so reliable, only the older generations even remember what unexpected downtime means. At some point it is probably worth pausing to ask, “Are we there yet? And if not, why not?”

Here are a few questions to ask about yourself and your business:

  • How would you rank your organization’s digital transformation when you benchmark yourself against other companies?
  • Who in your organization is actually in charge of implementing the rollout of these new tools and technologies, and does that person have the resources and the authority to actually make them work?
  • When you imagine the future after your digital transformation is complete, what is the thing you most want to be easy that right now is difficult? Are you working to change that part of your working life now with these new tools? What are some of the obstacles and challenges you need to address first, and are you making meaningful progress on those yet?
  • If you were to give a new hire an orientation of your processes, would most of that tour be focused on how things were done and are being done, or on how they will work after the digital transformation is complete? Put another way, how confident are you that the transformation will happen quickly and decisively, or do you believe it will be a long and gradual switch?

Geoff Micks
Head of Content & Research
Executive Platforms

Geoff joined the industry events business as a conference producer in 2010 after four years working in print media. He has researched, planned, organized, run, and contributed to more than a hundred events across North America and Europe for senior leaders, with special emphasis on the energy, mining, manufacturing, maintenance, supply chain, human resources, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, finance, and sustainability sectors. As part of his role as Head of Content & Research, Geoff hosts Executive Platforms’ bluEPrint Podcast series as well as a weekly blog focusing on issues relevant to Executive Platforms’ network of business leaders.

Geoff is the author of five works of historical fiction: Inca, Zulu, Beginning, Middle, and End. The New York Times and National Public Radio have interviewed him about his writing, and he wrote and narrated an animated short for Vice Media that appeared on HBO. He has a BA Honours with High Distinction from the University of Toronto specializing Journalism with a Double Minor in History and Classical Studies, as well as Diploma in Journalism from Centennial College.