72 hours of digitalisation at WindEurope

Tom Clark
3 min readApr 14, 2023

Working through the six steps to deliver a new geospatial service for the Wind Industry…

The six steps of digitalisation

Welcome to the 72 hour challenge…

We’re doing something special at WindEurope — rolling out a live data service, usable by the industry, there in the room. The purpose is to provide an example of implementing what we call the “Six Steps” — a tactic for progressing your organisation toward digitalisation.

At WindEurope right now? Follow us on linkedIn or join us at our stand beside the poster session!!!

The articles

The presentation

The map

The code

Why?

I mean, seriously, why bother with digitalisation? And what does it mean to me? I think our main motivation is to help the industry scale — a major part of that is overcoming staffing problems:

  • People in data-heavy roles lose 45% of their time in low-value data management tasks (Anaconda Foundation 2022).
  • Only 20% of technological/R&D effort has significant organisational outcomes (Gartner 2019) — the so-called “technology chasm”.
  • It takes 10+ years to train specialist technical staff.
  • To meet the 1.5C target by 2030, installation rate needs to grow by 5x very quickly (GWEC 2023).
  • Installation rate is constrained by (among other things) staff availability.

Think about it. Your staff are wildly talented, but are only 55% x 20% = 11% efficient in their core role, because of reasons that could be solved* with effective digitalisation. It takes ~10 years to train more. You need 5x more staff in the next 3 years.

This is what I mean when I say “Digitalisation”. I mean “Make everyone in the industry 10x better and quicker at what they do. FAST.”

Not to mention that all those wasted staff wages will cost £3.9b/year by 2025 (based on 132,000 professionals, a 55% efficiency, and a £44k wage +50% overhead). But that kind of seems insignificant.

*Or at least substantively improved. In particular, automated and easy data interchange will minimise data management overhead, while modularisation helps new technologies cross the chasm — particularly in the area of software and analytics.

Levels of digitalisation

Digitalisation happens at 3 levels:

  • Strategic: What effect should this have on your core mission?
  • Tactical: What conditions and processes will you put in place, to cultivate success at an organisational level?
  • Implementation: What actions must be taken at a team or individual level?

The Six Steps we’re presenting here are a tactic for digitalisation. They’re designed to get small cogs turning — in the next 72 hours we’ll be giving an example implementation following the Six Steps.

You can apply the tactic many times simultaneously across your business units… you’ll also need higher level tactics to start meshing everybody’s efforts together, and a clear strategy to point everyone in the right direction. But those will be the topic of other articles and other challenges!

Get involved

Follow us on linkedIn or read through the articles linked above, to get going!

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Tom Clark

Fluid Dynamicist at the core, lover of chaos theory. Experienced scientist, developer and team lead working in wind energy — from startups to heavy industry.