Knowing the advantages of embracing digital transformation: How aware are industry leaders?

In the last several weeks, I have been led to a regrettable realization. I have read articles, attended conferences, and have had the privilege of interacting with several business leaders from different sectors; the evidence from all angles points to the same conclusion. Amongst most Quebec industry leaders, there seems to be a lack of awareness surrounding the advantages of embracing digital practices and tools, along with a clear resistance to change.

In order to delve deeper into the issue, I took note of specific information in my readings and during my exchanges with business professionals. This helped me gain some insight into why the situation exists as it does.

Why the resistance towards implementing digital transformation?

First, there is the belief that there’s a lack of financial resources; however, this is not actually the case.

The Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation provides SMEs with many resources for implementingdigital transformation. In fact, they even provide practical advice to assist in the process (for example: “A step-by-step approach is always recommended to ensure that all the issues and risks associated with implementing new technologies are addressed”).

Nevertheless, despite all the support and financial assistance available in Quebec, our leaders still seem resistant to technological change.

While participating in the second edition of Connexion, I became aware of a second reason behind the resistance: a widespread lack of knowledge regarding the benefits of AI-powered technology implementation (Artificial Intelligence).

Grabb | Salon Connexion | 2019

It seems to me that, unless absolutely necessary (perhaps if business isn’t doing so well and things are getting desperate), business leaders generally aren’t interested in change.

Unfortunately, while business is good, they aren’t interested in how new technologies could help them do even better. They prefer to maintain the status quo rather than poking around in new ideas or even taking a peek out of curiosity.

This lack of awareness was recently directly targeted by an Industry 4.0 expert. Last Thursday, April 25, I had the opportunity to attend an event organized by Desjardins LAB where the speaker, Mr. Luis Ruivo, shared just how critical it is for Quebec companies to stay up to date in the Industry 4.0 age.

Conférence sur l’industrie 4.0 | Luis Ruivo | Desjardins LAB | 25 avril 2019

The conference discussed how embracing the ideas of Industry 4.0, and learning from the example of companies that have taken advantage of automation and data exchange, can make Quebec more internationally competitive, even giving us an advantage over other regions of the world. Of course, this would also result in creating jobs. Ruivo showed evidence from one of his own companies whose production and distribution operations now exist solely in North America. They actually do better than many established companies in Asia!

He emphasized that one important aspect to understand is that the implementation of Industry 4.0 has a horizontal impact. The attached photo explains this impact very well.

From beginning to end, I completely agreed with the reasoning behind Ruivo’s presentation.

According to Ruivo, most leaders have the financial means and education to understand the new Industry 4.0 revolution; what’s stopping them is that they just do not realize just how exceptionally beneficial new technologies would be for productivity and profitability, and for the Quebec economy as a whole.

Why haven’t leaders jumped on board?

In my opinion, the opponent in this battle is not technology, but our own human reasoning. We must fight for the capacity to envision a new world, one that flows in the direction of growth, progress, and development beyond what we’re now able to even imagine.

This transformation promises positive and beneficial impacts not only at the technology level, but also at the level of human resources, thanks to the creation of new departments and new positions. For more information on the obstacles to embracing new technologies, as well as the responses and attitudes of respondents who have taken steps towards it, see the attached image.

Panel – Digital Maturity: where do Quebec companies stand? | Salon Connexion | 17 avril 2019

Resistance to change will prevent some good leaders from becoming great in their business futures. We need to come to terms with the fact that technology is developing faster than human reasoning naturally assimilates change. To keep up, we need to learn how to cope, and from there, how to thrive.

What do we do now, and where do we start?

Education seems like the best tool to inform leaders and shape their vision towards embracing the advantages of new technologies. Furthermore, our institutions of learning must support our leaders of tomorrow by educating students in this new way of thinking as well.

In summary:

  1. Be aware and strategic regarding the impact of AI on your projects

  2. Build a plan to implement this vision

  3. Review and adjust your business model to ensure sustainability

Results will follow.

Please feel free to enrich this article by sharing your comments.

It would be my pleasure to connect and talk about helping you reinvent your business model with our Grabb Predictive Navigator solution.

Virginia Ene |

(Translated by Courtney Hinz)

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