Embracing human-centric digital transformation in Industrial Automation

In the realm of digital transformation, it is easy to get lost in the allure of technological advancements. Yet, at its core, this journey is not solely about deploying digital tools. It is a fundamental shift in the way we approach business called human-centric digital transformation.

Digital transformation reshapes every facet of an organisation, from its culture to its operational models. At the heart of this evolution lies the understanding that technology is not meant to replace humans but rather to enhance their capabilities.

In a thought-provoking piece, Schneider Electric, makes the case for adopting advanced factory automation that emphasises the pivotal role of humans. As influencers navigating the landscape of industrial automation, it is imperative to embrace a thinking style that acknowledges the mutual relationship between technology and human ingenuity. They explore how human-centric digital transformation is more than about machines. It is about empowering the workforce, redefining roles, and fostering innovation for a sustainable future.

Digital transformation is not only about using digital tools to improve the way we work. It is about changing the way we do business. Furthermore, it impacts everything across an organisation, from culture and people to processes and business models.

Human-Centric Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is more about people than technology. Technology and software exist to augment and enhance human capabilities and provide safety. Humans have unique talents compared to machines, including creativity, judgment, and life experience allowing them to improvise, compromise, and innovate. Even the most sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) is only as good as the person designing and running it. The human workforce remains the most important industrial asset.

There are scenarios where automation makes plenty of sense, for example, heavy, dangerous, repetitive, and low value operations. Automated systems can perform repetitive tasks faster, more reliably, and also with less risk. They can also be more efficient and cost-effective compared to manual workers.

The most successful digitisation journeys find the right balance between humans and their digital co-workers. A technology-augmented workforce increases efficiency, productivity, and sustainability.

Attracting talent

The next-generation workforce will bring with it an engrained digital skillset. Over time, software artificial intelligence, and autonomous systems that learn and improve will replace proprietary expertise. The next wave of the workforce will be data engineers responsible for generating positive business outcomes and controlling processes in real-time.

Attracting, retaining, and empowering the best talent is a competitive advantage. People-focused automation creates more engaging workplaces that attract diverse, engaged employees seeking careers in technology-rich environments. Enabling the next-generation workforce with productive, intuitive, and purpose-built technologies not only makes it easier for everyone to perform their jobs but also supports a culture of innovation.

Leveraging data

Unified data brings the entire organisation together to align processes, in response to ever-changing customer and ecosystem requirements. Industrial software digitally connects people from across disciplines to make better, data-based decisions at every level, from anywhere, anytime.

The rise of AI and other advanced technologies is driving new levels of efficiency and effectiveness for industrial organisations. Increased collaboration between humans and automation technology is already generating measurable benefits like increased energy efficiency and faster troubleshooting.

While robots and humans often work separately, cobots work alongside humans. With cobots, workers have intelligent and agile artificial colleagues gathering and sharing the data needed for productivity, quality, and safety.

Attracting and empowering talent with productive technologies is a competitive advantage. Software makes data visible and actionable, enabling better real-time decisions. AI, wearables, and cobots enable new human-technology collaboration that also increases efficiency, safety and sustainability.

The most powerful computer

Ultimately, humans provide the conceptual thinking, decision-making, and adaptability that machines lack. Finally, humans remain the most powerful “computer”, augmented by technologies to solve real problems.

Given these points, read the full article on human-centric digital transformation on the Schneider Electric website

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