A new wave of digitalization is made possible by the combination of exhaustive int ernet access, computing power and storage capacity, artificial intelligence, big dat a, algorithmic autonomous decision making and r obotics. This ever accelerating digitalization is changing our life and the way we make business m ore than any other (r)evolution before. As such, it requires a change of mindset rather than just deploying new technologies.
Digitalization and the subsequent p rocessing of the data obtained has the potential to reduce downtimes and operation costs, increase efficiency, and to create new ways of working as well as new business models. However, digitalization projects also pose some specific challenges and risks.
Digitalization projects shall be implemented following an overall strategy, which needs to be reviewed, adopted and improved regularly to account for a rapidly changing environment. In order to successfully implement a digitalization project, sufficient knowledge about the new technologies, business models, as well as safety and cyber security issues related to extended data communication and the “digital twin” are required, to name just a few.
Once the objectives of the digitalizat ion project are defined, for each individual pr oject the required (additional) data, computing and networking resources, required service providers and contr acts, organizational changes and processes have to be adapted as well as their potential impact on operation, safety and security need to be identified. These changes shall be implemented following a proven change management process for all internal processes of the company, once they have successfully passed the cost benefit analysis.
The very different aspects of developing and implementing digitalization projects and a possible methodology are subject of this paper and the respective presentation.