From C-Suite decision makers, to shop floor staff, stakeholders at every level are confronted by near daily volatility – almost no one in today’s businesses are immune. The relentless pace of economic, regulatory and technological change will expose companies whose business models depend on stability and protracted decision making with challenges they may not survive. It takes flexibility to keep up with the pace of change in the global business landscape, while also staying ahead of competitors. Digital transformation is widely accepted as the key to unlocking new opportunities for businesses. Though forward-thinking companies appreciate there’s a connection between leveraging new technology to optimize their facilities and the broader goals of cyber and physical security, sustainability, and operational efficiency, it’s less clear how to do it effectively. That’s where professional services can bridge the gap.
New Opportunities Create Fresh Challenges
Rapid technological change, budget constraints and scarce talent means executing comprehensive digital operational models using in-house resources exclusively is potentially risky. It makes sense to leverage service partners that can deliver the expertise and guidance organizations’ need to transform their infrastructure and springboard their conversion to a nimble, fully digital organization. Studies reveal that leveraging new technology to improve productivity, reduce waste, boost energy performance and achieve sustainability metrics, in order to protect people, assets, and data is a high priority. In fact, nearly 75% of companies have committed to the digital transformation journey, but only 25% have reached more mature levels (see IDC MaturityScape: The Future Enterprise, April 2019). These figures confirm that the digital transformation journey can be difficult, but failing to undertake the initiative can have dire consequences.
Protecting people, data, and operations is job one, and failing to do so can severely impact profitability. Even the most sophisticated enterprises are challenged to optimize facility operations, and several trends, ranging from locales moving to the distributed edge model, through increasing regulatory and efficiency requirements, and internal skills obsolescence, will only increase the hurdles. Recently, Schneider Electric partnered with IDC, a global provider of market intelligence to survey business decision makers across multiple geographic regions and industries, in order to gain important insights regarding the current state and future needs of customers’ facilities and operations. Two key findings are that:
- Plant and business operations are inherently interconnected.
- A large percentage of organizations are realizing significant benefits by partnering with services firms.
Facility issues are directly connected to business operations
The survey clearly illustrates that a disruption to manufacturing processes, plant productivity, or datacenter uptime has a direct impact on operations. The result is a loss of profits, security exposure, and workforce inefficiency that expose enterprises to greater risk. 38% reported events that resulted in production losses, while 36% detailed data security issues, and a further 26% were unable to attain their efficiency goals. These responses confirm how facility issues can lead to production downtime and a reduction in resource utilization, while increasing physical and cybersecurity exposure. The consequences can directly affect an organization’s business processes and their bottom line. With such a wide range of ever fluctuating challenges, it’s no wonder that many organizations continue to find themselves short of the internal expertise necessary to effectively confront such complex problems, and adapt to a hyper competitive future.
Partnering with experts lessens risk, improves success
Services providers can be instrumental in navigating an enterprise through the digital transformation journey. In fact, 89% of survey respondents reported that services delivered a positive impact and helped them achieve vital objectives. Many found that a strategic partner was able to leverage best practices, provide valuable guidance, implement proven methodologies, and leverage use case experience to lower their risk and enhance the probability of long-term success. Engaging a professional services firm enables organizations to stay focused on their core business and concentrates internal expertise where it is most valuable.
The survey explored services utilized in the domains of energy strategy consulting, field services, digital transformation and digital monitoring services, and found organizations that engaged external services reported a positive impact toward achieving their organizational objectives. The greatest impact was reported to be in operational efficiency and resiliency, which points to the essential role third-party services play in contributing to an enterprise’s strategy to drive organizational transformation.
Download the Maximizing Business and Operational Resilience Through Services white paper to learn how global companies see the challenges and opportunities of digital transformation, and how third-party services help pave the way to success.
This article was written by Frederic Abbal, and originally it was published here. Frédéric began his career at Philips Components and Valeo. He joined Schneider Electric as Purchasing Manager in 1991 and he was then appointed Director of Operations Division of Merlin Gerin Alpes. In March 2012, he was appointed as Executive Vice-President, of the Infrastructure Business. Since January 2014, Frederic Abbal is a Member of the Executive Committee of Schneider Electric. Starting January 2019, Frederic has been appointed to lead all the Services activities of the group.