Declan LeonardGroup Head of Digital Transformation

Declan has over 23 years’ experience working across a range of key project delivery roles including Engineer Manager and Digital Transformation Lead.  A chartered engineer, he holds a Masters in Building Services Engineering from Brunel University.

Digital transformation is foundational for business success. It offers multiple opportunities and challenges. For many businesses, a phased outcome approach offers the most practical, cost effective solution.

Digital technologies encourage collaboration and improve communication, increased agility, and support for an environment of employee excellence.

“The more adept leaders will understand and address the three pillars - people, processes, and technology. Identifying how digitalisation will impact people and their current / future ways of working, will deliver digital solutions that enable and lock in sustainable improvements. Strengthening cybersecurity is a priority and allows companies to grow securely,” says Declan.

Trusted expert advisers

Companies are looking to trusted advisers with the ability to develop digital roadmaps and solutions that support business outcomes. Advisers need to have a deep understanding of the specific business landscape to help navigate the complexities of digital transformation. Critical to this is identifying a core set of meaningful KPIs. For example, a percentage increase in revenue, a percentage reduction in overhead /operating costs or a number of new product lines.

Driving innovation

Increased accessibility to advanced digital technologies is driving new innovations in products and services. New business models and customer value streams are emerging across the supply chain. Cloud services like AI and data analytics technologies are helping business to grow new products.

Focus areas

Focus areas

In high-tech manufacturing facilities – including the life sciences, data centre and food sectors, some core focus areas are emerging:

  • Lean processes

    Digitising poor processes will not lead to substantial efficiency or revenue growth. For many decades, lean principles have played an essential role in manufacturing and project delivery to drive efficiencies and lower costs. Now the combined power of lean processes and digital technologies or ‘digitally enabled lean’, are transforming the way projects are designed, managed and delivered.

  • Smart Manufacturing

    Industry needs a toolkit of technologies to deliver better quality, lower costs and increase speed to market for products and services. Industry 4 is a vast area and is underpinned by the requirement to organise, manage and integrate data using appropriate technologies. Under this umbrella, big data analytics, cybersecurity, robotics, augmented and virtual reality are emerging and offering real business value.

  • Logistics and supply chain

    Access to materials following the Pandemic and ongoing energy crisis, will continue to pose a challenge to security of supply. In the pharma industry, the development of new therapies and treatments are changing the shape of manufacturing spaces and how supply chains operate.

“Digital applications and technologies are well developed and will continue to evolve rapidly. We’ve already seen that AI is a game changer for business intelligence and insights. The challenge for most sector and services will be around people and processes," says Declan.

A significant cultural shift is required

"A significant culture shift is required to fully realise the potential value from Digital Transformation. So it’s important to align people around a digital vision. This will allow companies to create a highly connected workforce with fast and reliable access to data. Digital is an enabler to deliver innovative, lean and sustainable solutions to meet the changing future needs of clients through the full lifecycle of their operation.”

Declan Leonard

Group Head of Digital Transformation