The Future of Partnerships: Innovation Meets Scale in a Digital and Electric World

This is an article written by Peter Weckesser, Chief Digital Officer of Schneider Electric and member of the Executive Committee

Business leaders today can be overwhelmed with choice and complexity. They know they need to undertake digital transformation initiatives to stay competitive and become more sustainable.

On their way to automating processes, adopting new technologies or business models, and improving customer experience, they are often exposed to the complex array of hardware and software in the market and a growing number of competing technology vendors. .

The challenge is real: more than two-thirds of all digital transformation efforts end up failing. While there are many reasons why these initiatives fail to deliver the expected business results, I suggest focusing on three key things to tip the scales in your favor: collaborating in an ecosystem, pivoting while keeping mind the needs of your customers and empower your employees. to drive change.

Ecosystem thinking in a digital and electric world

To improve an organization’s profitability, sustainability, customer experience (CX), or other transformational goals, it is crucial that it innovates in partnership with technology providers. This need is particularly acute when it comes to successfully going beyond digital “pilot projects” – according to the World Economic Forum, more than 70% of industrial companies are still in pilot phases of their transformation, with only a select group of manufacturers who can reap the benefits of large-scale deployment in their factories and escape “pilot purgatory”.

This is where choosing the right supplier makes all the difference. Companies should look beyond promises and seek a partner who has experience of similar projects and whose vision and values ​​are fully aligned with theirs. Only then will they avoid a long and drawn-out development process, missed milestones, and ultimately failed digital transformation programs. In the meantime, they must embrace purpose-built digital platforms to facilitate collaboration, experimentation, and provide insights that will inform future organizational strategy.

Sustainability and efficiency – partnership products

The good news is that companies are increasingly recognizing the importance of forging partnerships on the path to greater efficiency and sustainability, both for themselves and for their customers.

A recent study by IDC commissioned by Schneider Electric revealed that 96% of companies are already in the process of or plan to co-create with suppliers to develop new digital products and services for sustainability and efficiency. Once that happens, the benefits begin to materialize: According to Accenture, companies that embed digital and sustainable transformations into their operations and value chains are 2.5 times more likely to be among the top performers in the industry. tomorrow than those who do not.

Accelerated digital transformation and collaboration on open digital platforms has been driven by the need for businesses to help the world recover from the pandemic and build back better. At the same time, there is a growing need for bespoke and specialized solutions that companies are struggling to develop on their own. Increasingly, organizations understand that successful innovation depends on partnerships. That’s why we see more and more people turning to Schneider Electric Exchange, the digital ecosystem where companies can find partners who understand their needs and have a proven track record of delivering similar projects successfully.

The path to scalable and sustainable success

When companies can demonstrate the power of partnerships to achieve their sustainability and digital transformation projects, it will act as a catalyst for many other sectors of the economy to innovate, collaborate and decarbonize.

No one can fight climate change alone, just as no one can innovate alone. We believe that sustainability can go hand in hand with recovery and progress – and that with the right partnerships and digital solutions, businesses can grow at scale while helping to bring net zero within reach.

Change is in the air and digital transformation projects – done right – will not only make the business more sustainable and profitable, but will also help them become more agile and better prepared to adapt to whatever the future holds for them. Digital ecosystems, where organizations can forge partnership networks with proven and trusted technology providers, will be a crucial part of the sustainability (r)evolution.

Peter Weckesser has been Chief Digital Officer of Schneider Electric and member of the Executive Committee since June 2020, when he joined the company. Before working at Schneider, Weckesser was responsible for the digital transformation of the Defense & Space division of Airbus since 2017. He holds a degree in physics as well as a doctorate in computer science from the University of Karlsruhe, Germany. Germany.