In order to start digital transformation, many chemical companies have successfully carried out digital pilot projects in the past few years. However, although we see high-level management committed to (across the organization) in implementing these measures, especially in large chemical companies, efforts are being made to transform successful pilot projects into effective promotion. The reason for this is that the two challenges are often not adequately addressed:
Lack of focus: chemical companies often bind valuable resources to multiple pilot enterprises at the same time. By prioritizing and gradually transforming selected potential pilot projects into global promotion projects, their success rate will be significantly improved.
Ignore complexity: chemical companies tend to ignore the regional and cultural starting points of their organizations, such as different infrastructure and prerequisites. Especially those organizations that grow up through M & A, their different aspects make listing more complex than expected.
Therefore, in promoting sustainable and successful digital transformation of transnational organizations, it is crucial to develop appropriate pilot priorities and consider local prerequisites.
What does success need?
It’s easy to say and it’s hard to do. The journey of digital transformation can be divided into four steps:
Description: four steps of digital transformation
1) Evaluation: each transformation starts with the evaluation of innovative digital applications by (central) digital experts and experts considering their personal maturity level. In the immature conceptual phase of lack of specific development cases, new ideas will be analyzed based on their technical complexity, feasibility and scalability as well as economic considerations.
2) Pilot: if the analysis meets the pre-defined digital pilot needs, the central team will organize a suitable pilot site, focusing on small-scale and short-term experience accumulation. In the local team, the entrusted digital experts and experts are jointly responsible for the implementation and status monitoring of digital pilot. The team has prepared a list of prerequisites, along with potential IT infrastructure requirements and standards.
3) Diffusion: after the successful implementation of the digital pilot, the central team distributes the pre emptive list to all locations and evaluates their feedback to select potential candidates for launch. It is speculated that prerequisites (for example, master data maintenance) can be prepared locally to deploy quickly and smoothly without any digital experts present. The digital experts and experts that have been involved are divided into two organizational entities: a dedicated digital launch team focusing only on potential roll out candidates that meet the pre-determination list, and the other digital pilot team focuses on the same applications in different infrastructure environments. By adopting this method of team division, the company has achieved the launch speed, and also solved the gap between heterogeneous infrastructure. As the organized preparation ensures smooth launch throughout the company, the local team is responsible for the successful launch.
4) Organizational embedding: it is enough to implement an independent pilot for chemical companies with similar infrastructure and environment to classify digital applications as applications to be launched. Ideally, a dedicated launch team trains selected local digital native users to become key users of digital applications. Training should already include a change management perspective in order to prepare for further promotion of regional digital applications. After successfully handing over to the local team, the digital expert (central) can restart the assessment of the next digital application.