Chemical enterprises prepare for digital transformation

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Digital Transformation: Are chemical enterprises ready?

As the global chemical industry prepares to embrace digital transformation, many challenges and obstacles can impact the decisions of senior executives. Based on findings from the inaugural 2016 Global Digital Chemistry Survey, this intends to show the potential opportunity related to the digital agenda and recommend specific steps to navigate through its challenges and realize its benefits.

Approaching digital transformation

Many ad-hoc approaches and experiments with digital and exponential technologies are underway in the global chemicals industry. Yet, many chemical enterprises are unsure about the advantages that can result from a digital revolution and are cautious towards an enterprise-wide digital makeover.

Challenges facing chemical enterprises that may limit them from achieving digital excellence, include:

  • Current digital responsibilities are misplaced
  • Change management to ease workforce adoption of the digital agenda appear absent
  • The critical role of cyber security, talent management, and strategic alliances have not been fully recognized
  • Digital opportunities are expected the most in business operations, sales, and marketing in the short term

Yet a fair share of chemical enterprises in the Deloitte Global 2016 Global Digital Chemistry Survey do realize the growing importance of digital initiatives in boosting their innovation potential, but the vast majority focus on the data aspect. Senior leadership in chemical enterprises have the opportunity to proactively drive a digital culture, which will likely help chemical organizations innovate and eventually enable complete transformation focused on business growth and operations.

Five enablers identified to augment digital initiatives

The following recommendations, derived from the results of the Deloitte Global 2016 Global Digital Chemistry Survey and industry observations, can help chemical enterprises in augmenting their digital strategies:

  1. Build a robust transformation process, starting with a clear digital enterprise strategy
  2. Enable enterprise-wide scalability of digital by establishing a sustainable insight-driven strategy that builds and strengthens internal capabilities
  3. Create a structured approach to identify risks in complex and dynamic ecosystems
  4. Establish agile operating models that can engage newly prioritized resources to plan, execute, and manage digital activities
  5. Embed continuous innovation into a culture that supports new ideas and encourages learning
Digital Transformation: Are chemical enterprises ready?
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