Why Digital Transformation Needs Human Collaboration
A common question that I get (and it keeps coming) is, “What are the key success factors that will further drive the growth and lead to the faster adoption of IoT?
To answer this question, I’ll start by referring to the definition of the core principle of IoT as follows:
“The intelligent integration of ICT systems into our daily lives and business processes using machines, devices and sensors through intelligently scalable and secured infrastructure.”
IoT is just one element of a broader digital transformation process that creates socioeconomic changes in society. Digital transformation is an ecosystem that introduces a shift in the traditional business and service models while generating new economic and social value.
This transformation touches most of the sectors impacting features of day-to-day life such as living conditions, mobility, healthcare, safety, security, energy, industry, farming, agriculture and urban development.
But, back to the initial question: What are the key success factors that will drive faster IoT adoption as part of digital transformation?
The speed of IoT integration into the digital transformation process will emerge when constructive human-to-human interaction and collaborative models are created. This means a shift to a collaborative and co-existing culture across technology providers, industry leaders, governments, and corporations, both regionally and internationally.
Successfully implementing an IoT strategy within the context of digital transformation requires tight coordination and collaboration from many different stakeholders at all levels. Collaboration with credible and proven partners is absolutely necessary for planning and successful deployment while developing a complete digital transformation ecosystem
The collaboration model is complex and has two dimensions: (1) horizontal collaboration, which is established among equals, for example, technology providers, customers, enterprises and standardization bodies, regional and international organizations; and (2) vertical collaboration, which is the cross-government common platform that enables collaborative governmental sectors to visualize patterns of ROI to create scenarios where everyone wins.
Understanding and recognizing these emerging patterns of ecosystem collaboration is fundamental to the success of digital transformation as it can build the right mindset, skillsets, collaborative culture, structure, and management and organizational alignment.
Let’s take the SDGs as an example. In 2015, the United Nations adopted an agenda for global transformation. Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with targets to be achieved by 2030. This ambitious objective requires focused and collaborative actions from governments, enterprises, business, academic institutions, and society.
Digital transformation strategies are a key element that can push the SDGs forward. Aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals SDGs, digital transformation’s core values will eventually address key human issues such as poverty, hunger, well-being, education, clean water, energy affordability, economics and industry, innovation, climate, and sustainable cities and communities. However, it is apparent that effective projects will depend heavily on the level of collaboration across sectors.
That requires greater efforts to remove walls of misunderstanding, protectionism, silos, and self-focus, approaches which could easily manifest in long-term failure if they are not consciously recognized and addressed.
Back to the IoT success factors and there are four key benefits when developing an IoT collaboration framework under the umbrella of a digital transformation strategy:
- Sharing a common vision: This process is highly motivating because everyone understands how each part of the ecosystem will be organized among stakeholders to leverage the results of each other’s work, while being involved in every key decision.
- Bridging gaps: Although different parties have different needs, expectations and expertise, one party may not be familiar with the gaps created by the challenges and needs faced by the other party. Those gaps will be covered and addressed by a collaborative approach, ensuring that each party’s needs and challenges are addressed. Getting all parties together also helps highlight transformation areas where expertise is lacking.
- Gaining insights from the outside: By involving collaborating partners from outside the immediate organizational ecosystem (which can include other affiliates, parent companies and/or external partners and external institutions) and sharing knowledge from their respective areas, all parties have an opportunity to gain new insight.
- Exposing transformation Technologies: Collaboration helps to identify the different technologies (no-one-size-fits-all) and evolution roadmaps required to achieve digital transformation seamlessly and cost effectively.
No Digital Transformation Without Human Collaboration
As collaboration becomes a major driving force for the success of IoT and broader digital transformation, the human factor has in turn become a priority.
Human collaboration must be driven by visionary leadership, local, regional understanding, and knowledge exchange are crucial to shift collaboration from idealistic thoughts to realistic and productive results, where social, economic, and business objectives of digital transformation are met.
From a global perspective, we are seeing exemplary countries taking serious and committed steps in setting the stage for national roadmaps to accelerate digital transformation strategies, including IoT adoption. Some developing regions are even outperforming the developed world in terms of technological advancement and measurable outcomes.
Digital Transformation has plenty to offer those who are open to create the innovative social and business collaboration environment that spans technologies, cultures, and borders.
Collaborative leaders will be among the first setting the future path for others to follow.
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