Pioneering Digital Transformation: Simplify from Industry 4.0 to Government

Manufacturing, construction, and government have a few things in common. These companies and institutions lag other industries in deploying technologies while having a key opportunity to connect the physical world with digital back-office workflows and develop actionable intelligence.

Pioneering Digital Transformation: Simplify from Industry 4.0 to Government

These businesses have other similarities. They have understaffed IT departments and little appetite to invest in expensive technologies. They require real-time tools to accelerate smarter decision-making and reduce the gray work between field and operations, knowledge workers, and executives.

Gray work refers to the myriad of spreadsheets, emails, and meetings required for collaboration and the added efforts using multiple hard-to-use technologies that aren’t integrated. In their recent “Gray Work Index” report, Quickbase revealed that 41% of survey respondents spend 5-10 hours per week chasing information from different people and systems, and over 90% feel overwhelmed by the number of software solutions they use to get work done on a typical day.

Pioneering digital transformation requires exceptional Digital Trailblazers who recognize the opportunity:

  • Make work easier, safer, and more productive for people in the field.
  • Remove the drudgery of office workers laboring with too many tools and disconnected systems.
  • Transform from transactional decision-making (one shop floor, construction project, or workflow in one government agency) to strategic workflow and decision-making capabilities prioritizing impact around profitability, productivity, safety, customer satisfaction, employee well-being, and other across-the-business objectives.

Digital transformation in manufacturing, construction, and government

Whether it’s Industry 4.0, Construction 4.0, or E-government, a significant digital transformation opportunity in these organizations is transforming gray work into dynamic work management. It’s easier today, more than ever, when enabled by a dynamic work platform supporting simplified user interfaces, automation, integration, effortless mobility, real-time dashboarding, and gen AI capabilities.

Below are example applications developed in a no-code where businesses successfully reduced gray work and rolled out extendable capabilities to different departments and teams.

  • Manufacturing – Factory floor applications to improve shop flow management, optimize equipment maintenance schedules, and transform checklists into intelligent workflows. Backoffice applications include supply chain scenario planning, contract management, and customer service.
  • Construction businesses – Jobsite applications include OSHA compliance, worker safety checklists, tracking equipment, and onboarding subcontractors. Office applications include managing work-in-progress (WIP) reporting, submittals, and proposal workflows.
  • Government – Deploy configurable workflow applications across multiple agencies, such as computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS), case management, OSHA record keeping, and resource scheduling.

Find the right level of specialization

A key challenge in manufacturing, construction, and government is the business dynamics that drive customized solutions and configurations. Manufacturers often have multiple plants, construction companies have many active projects, and governments have multiple agencies – each with their leaders and teams following different workflows and tools than their peers. Digital Trailblazers working in these scenarios run into the challenge of aligning people, workflow, data, and tools to a standard practice but with operational flexibility.

Join the Coffee with Digital Trailblazers

The challenge can seem overwhelming if you take a traditional route of capturing everyone’s needs and then trying to find solutions that address all the must-have requirements. The approach often leads to one of four dead ends:

  • No investment because of the lack of agreement – everyone loses.
  • Investment in multiple solutions – leaving IT an integration mess, the business with added technology costs, and creating complexities to unify data from disparate systems.  
  • Investment in one rigid commercial solution – leaving everyone griping about what they didn’t get or don’t like in the solution.
  • Building a custom application – requiring software developers to build, extend, and support a homegrown application. 

Five steps to simplify planning and adoption

Here’s where no-code is the game changer and a five-step process to simplify developing configurable and scalable solutions.

  1. Engage a small group to develop a vision statement – Vision statements help stakeholders focus on the essential user personas, value proposition, and business value without getting into the nuances of how things work today, future requirements, user experience, or design. (You can download the free StarCIO Vision Statement Template.)
  2. Develop a pilot - Acknowledging the initial solution will be a minimal viable experience (MVE) and simplified design. No-code solutions enable stakeholders, end-users, citizen developers, and IT to prototype collaboratively and rapidly produce a fully functional application.
  3. Capture feedback – Discuss the pilot with end-users and its stakeholders, then broaden the review with a larger group of operational leaders and end-users from other departments and projects. Use the pilot to conceive a common workflow but capture where there may be different data and business rule requirements from the added stakeholders.
  4. Rebuild the application with the new requirements – Stick to a common workflow, but use the no-code platform’s flexibility in data, forms, workflow, integrations, roles, groups, and dashboarding to adjust the experience to different stakeholder needs.
  5. Apply change management principles – Roll out the new application to different stakeholder groups incrementally, capture feedback, and enhance the application where required.

Today, construction and manufacturing companies and government institutions can reduce gray work, improve safety, and become more data-driven organizations by leveraging no-code and developing dynamic work solutions.

This post is brought to you by Quickbase.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Quickbase.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments on this blog are moderated and we do not accept comments that have links to other websites.


About Isaac Sacolick

Isaac Sacolick is President of StarCIO, a technology leadership company that guides organizations on building digital transformation core competencies. He is the author of Digital Trailblazer and the Amazon bestseller Driving Digital and speaks about agile planning, devops, data science, product management, and other digital transformation best practices. Sacolick is a recognized top social CIO, a digital transformation influencer, and has over 900 articles published at InfoWorld,, his blog Social, Agile, and Transformation, and other sites. You can find him sharing new insights @NYIke on Twitter, his Driving Digital Standup YouTube channel, or during the Coffee with Digital Trailblazers.