Digital transformation, and how standards can help
There has been a great deal of focus recently about the need for major engineering sectors, including manufacturing and built environment, to take action and contribute to the move towards net zero CO2 emissions. Governments have set ambitious targets and have committed to halve emissions by 2030, and then to achieve net zero by 2050. Our World in Data (https://ourworldindata.org/emissions-by-sector) estimate that energy use in buildings contributes 17.5% of global emissions, and energy use in industry (which includes the manufacture of construction products) is 24.2%.
To undertake a real net reduction in CO2 emissions will require industries and their stakeholders to work differently to the current accepted ways of working. They will need to collaborate more, and to engage in more collective decision making. The use of digital tools and services will be necessary to underpin and enable these new ways of working, which in turn will require these businesses to transform themselves to fully exploit the data that will appear at the heart of their business. Digital transformation for net zero will require the collection of robust data on emissions and energy use, and then interpreting that data into information to make collaborative decisions, and the creation of innovative solutions to reduce energy use and emissions.
But this digital transformation cannot and will not happen overnight. Before businesses can invest in digital capabilities, focus their operations towards a more data-centric future, and use this to change the way they interact with their collaborators, they need to satisfy themselves that their internal capabilities and processes are capable of being digitally transformed successfully. Those businesses that want to take the first steps towards upgrading their internal capabilities can benefit from a number of international standards that will enable them to adopt a more innovative approach, to manage their assets more effectively, and to collaborate better with external partners.
Becoming more innovative – the role of ISO 56000 series
Businesses that innovate effectively are able to managing the process as well as any other business activity. Their approach is disciplined and becomes integrated with every other part of the business.
The ISO 56000 Innovation Management series of standards offers a clear framework that helps companies to create the environment for capturing and implementing ideas, establishing local good practice, and maximizing value.
When a business has to move and change quickly to digitally transform itself, and subsequently to take action to reduce CO2 emissions, then having the appropriate mechanisms to do so in a profitable way that supports growth will make the enterprise much more sustainable.
Collaborating effectively – implementing the ISO 44000 series
As mentioned above it is quite clear that a significant part of realising the benefits of innovation arises in being able to benefit from external relationships and contribute to mutually beneficial decision making. Collaborative decision making will be key to achieving net zero, and this is enshrined in the ISO 44001 Collaborative Business Relationship series of standards.
The standard has an eight-stage life cycle model that puts into place specific requirements within management systems, meaning collaborative working can become a natural part of the business processes. This also supports relationship building between businesses rather than just between individuals.
Managing assets – ISO 55000
If a company wants to create a digital data flow from its assets to make decisions about CO2 reductions, then it is important the organisation creates management processes that capture reliable and timely information about the assets before digital transformation begins.
Managing value – Assets and the ISO 55000 series
This is where the ISO 55000 series of standards will help encourage companies to take the first steps towards putting asset data at the heart of their own business. At the heart of this series is a framework for an asset management system that enables you to manage the life cycle of your assets, all the way from acquisition to end-of-life. This system enables robust risk management, and also oversight of the costs associated with owning assets. This is all put into a process that supports continual improvement and on-going value creation.
Ensuring Digital Trust- ISO/IEC 27000 series
As part of your digital transformation, you need to build information resilience. Our ISO/IEC 27000 series of standards empowers you to keep your business safe through a diverse range of information security solutions.
From implementing a compliant and effective information management system to privacy protection, safeguard your information assets and business reputation with this internationally-recognized agile series of standards.
Whilst any innovation (digital or otherwise) can appear daunting, knowing that support is available is an important first step. Through standards such as ISO 56000, ISO 44000, and 55000 innovation can be fostered within an organization while ensuring it supports business objectives, collaboration with other businesses, and maximising value. However while these standards may help support your digital transformation, it is your journey; the first step is yours!