SIRI – First-footings in Digital Transformation

Did you ever feel pocced? Even without knowing what it means it already gives a sinister feeling. Doesn’t sound very positive. Well, it isn’t. “Poccing” is giving-in to the inclination to do a Proof of Concept for a digitalization initiative at your facility, without having addressed the key success factors. At a number of industrial players, we have seen some serious cases of poccing, but you may see yourself suffering of one of the milder symptoms.

Did you ever feel pocced? Even without knowing what it means it already gives a sinister feeling. Doesn’t sound very positive. Well, it isn’t. “Poccing” is giving-in to the inclination to do a Proof of Concept for a digitalization initiative at your facility, without having addressed the key success factors. At a number of industrial players, we have seen some serious cases of poccing, but you may see yourself suffering of one of the milder symptoms.

The PoC trap

The scenario is quite simple. Your organization is compelled to make concrete steps in digital transformation. After having proclaimed ambitious digitalization goals on the corporate website, one cannot be caught empty-handed. It is time to show some tangible results to customers, shareholders, and competition. While pressure is building up, your digitalization strategists are confronted with a myriad of applications and systems to choose from, and an equal number of eager suppliers. Name big data, edge computing, Machine Learning or Artificial Intelligence, IIoT, robotics, cloud, digital twinning… the list is endless. While trying to understand the opportunities offered by each of them, there soon will be a call to not further over-engineer the solution and just get something going. If only, at least, for gaining some experience (“let’s refine the strategy after that”). And here it comes then, the first Proof of Concept, or PoC.

Register now for the free webinar on 6 April, 10 am, by clicking on the graphic!

Promises of Proof

Such ill-configured Proof of Concepts, which often turn out to be mere Promises of Concepts, are the cause of many frustrations. Operations are suddenly having to learn and work with a new tool that IT says it’s good for them. Next, it shows that furnishing the necessary data proves more complex than was foreseen (although some had already warned for it!). Departments are slow in adapting their related work processes after not having been properly involved. Cybersecurity sets unforeseen requirements to the implementation. PoC scope reductions become unavoidable as limits in budget and schedule force simplification of the concept. To the disappointment of its originators, the PoC gradually shrinks to an isolated gimmick instead of the showcase of digitalization advancement. You have gotten pocced. And before you know it, you will be again.

DIY Transformation

Now would you need external help to prevent such scenario? Maybe not. After all, who knows your company best? What the poccing pitfalls illustrate though, is that they are multidimensional and distributed over several functions of the organization. This is not a shortcoming of the organization; this just proves that digital transformation permeates deeper into it than traditional projects do. Establishing the overall view and exacting the correct initiatives that are based on the company’s precise digitalization state, and its positioning among industry peers… these are no trivial things. It requires a well-equilibrized definition of digitalization dimensions across processes and organizations, and a method of ranking advancements unequivocally. And company resources that can do this without prejudice.

SIRI to the rescue

The Smart Industry Readiness Index (SIRI) is rapidly becoming the global standard of industrial digitalization assessment. Because it exactly delivers on these preconditions. Originated at the Singapore Economic Development Board in 2017 in cooperation with consulting and industrial frontrunners, it is meanwhile adopted by TÜV SÜD and the World Economic Forum, as well as numerous companies worldwide, including Yokogawa. Soon to have gathered assessment results of nearly 1,000 operations internationally, the independent SIRI benchmarking reference base is continuously updated. Although an important differentiator versus the various other assessment tools on offer, this reference base is not what makes it really stand out from the pack.

The distinguishing component is its Prioritization Matrix. It identifies the dimensions where initiatives will deliver highest impact on your digitalization advancements. These priority initiatives are analyzed by weighing the operations’ cost structure, your company performance metrics and the time horizon used for strategic planning. Maybe not surprisingly, given the poccing pitfalls described above, such high impact areas are not only technology related: of the 16 digitalization dimensions assessed by SIRI, 7 deal with business processes and organizational elements. And their specified actions often rank as indispensable key success factor for the entire program.

Register now for the free webinar on 6 April, 10 am, by clicking on the graphic!

Now, as the English first-footing goes, one wishes to ensure that the PoC turns out as the step into a prosperous new digitalization era. Yokogawa Certified SIRI Assessors deploy SIRI assessment workshops for precise orientation of such first steps, and the ones following suit. The balanced approach ensures a coherent classification of the digital transformation priorities among processes, technology and organization. While Yokogawa’s implementation experience guides the translation of them into real projects. No more poccing for incremental discoveries, but consciously investing where it matters most.


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