April 16, 2019

Let’s Get Digital … Digital…

by Etienne Lecompte

If you’re dependent on the Excel and Outlooks of this world to get through your day, and that’s all you use to manage things, you’re not fully digital. Digital tools have evolved to encompass fullfledged management and operational systems. Digitalization is the future of renewable energy, and you better start thinking about it now.

Going digital is seemingly easy, but to have the right impact you need to plan, prepare, and execute properly. Let’s start with some definitions that I presented on our panel at SAMNA called : Value of Automation in an Era of Diminishing Marginal Returns 

What is digitization, digitalization and digital transformation? 

Given that I am no longer on stage I will actually quote Jason Bloomberg from a Forbes article (follow him @theebizwizard and read it here): 

“We digitize information, we digitalize processes and roles that make up the operations of a business, and we digitally transform the business and its strategy. Each one is necessary but not sufficient for the next, and most importantly, digitization and digitalization are essentially about technology, but digital transformation is not. Digital transformation is about the customer.” 

I fundamentally believe that as an industry we are too focused on having information in a digital formatandare not focusing enough on digitalizing our processes and approaches and ultimately setting up our businesses to deliver value to the customer through digital means. 

The real goal for us at PowerHub is to support the efforts of our clients to implement their digital transformation vision, and overall digitalization in renewable energy… ultimately aiming to deliver the right information to the right people at the right time. This often aims to automate lower valueadded processes, and cull processing time. Which can mean shorter cash receipt cycles and lower working capital requirements as a result. 

Automation is not only good for the sake of it, it has significant HR and business impacts. 

“When digital transformation is done right, it’s like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, but when done wrong, all you have is a really fast caterpillar.” 

George Westerman| Principal Research Scientist with the MIT Sloan Initiative on the Digital Economy 

I think that automation and digital transformation play a key role when it is done with a designand a purpose in mind. 

Ultimately, they are a driver for cost reduction AND increased customer engagement. 

Getting Started  

There are a number of low hanging fruits out there to start your digital journey: 

  1. Centralize disparate points of data and information in one place
  2. Often to start the process painful data migration and data QA processes must happen, but teams like ours often take care of that for you. It is a non-barrier that you should surmount with ease and get you to start the process. 
  3. Focus on automating high impact processes 
  4. By focusing on processes that tax your organization the most, you will create immediate ROI. As an example, we have reduced invoicing cycles from 2 weeks to hours by implementing simple automation and approval processes that our clients can follow and that fit in their organization. This will create an immediate ROI on your technology investment and create a platform to further push additional digital enabled changes.
  5. Review your processes WITH technology in mind 
  6. We all review how we work on a regular basis, now is the time to actively look at how tools are supporting your processes, or what steps are no longer required because of automation or validation mechanisms. Do you really need to review all 400 reports you send out? OR should you just focus on the outliers?

At the end of the day, as we work with our clients in their digitalization journeys, there’s always a lot to be done. The idea is simply to start the journey, get impact early, and move from there. It’s less painful than you think, and the benefits clearly outweigh the costs 😊 

Contact us today to see how PowerHub can help you on your digital journey. 

Want to do a bit more research on your own? Download “The Real Value of Asset Intelligence” here.

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