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Is your company dragging its feet on the digital journey?

Is your company dragging its feet on the digital journey?
Published: 17 October 2018

According to PwC, while Industrie 4.0 is transforming manufacturing rapidly and digital transformation has been on the C-suite’s agenda for years, just a small group of companies is in a position to gain real competitive advantage from this operations revolution.

Says Wayne Borcher, COO of data specialists SSA: “In reviewing PwC’s Strategy & Global Digital Operations Study 2018, it’s astounding to note that some 10% of global manufacturing companies are dubbed ‘Digital Champions’, while almost two-thirds have barely or not yet begun the digital journey.

“Manufacturing is a key economic sector in any country, and South African manufacturers that have not yet started their digital journey are missing out on innovation and automation that could put them in a position to compete globally.”

For its report, “Digital Champions: How industry leaders build integrated operations ecosystems to deliver end-to-end customer solutions”, PwC surveyed 1,155 executives at global manufacturing companies in 26 countries, including South Africa, asking them about their views on Industry 4.0 and digital operations.

“Based on their responses, a digital maturity index was developed by PwC to explore role of the so-called ‘Digital Champions”, and what sets them apart from competitors,” says Borcher. “While there are few Champions in South Africa, Asia appears to be reaching milestones at a better pace. This being said, the report did find that industrial equipment companies are already more advanced, but automotive (20% Digital Champions) and Electronics (14%) are clearly the most digitally mature.

“This makes sense not only from a financial perspective, but from the viewpoint of automation assisting in industries where skills are lacking and efficiency is key. Countries in the EMEA region could look to Asia for steps to growth and digital maturity and also have the advantage of leap-frogging organisations that are some way down the digital path, and learning from their mistakes,” Borcher says.

The first step is to determine your organisation’s digital maturity, Borcher asserts, and then to work on a strategy with an experienced team. “To paraphrase an old saying, the best time to start your digital journey is yesterday. The second best time would be today.”

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CREDITS - See PwC article here.