Article | November 6, 2023

Putting People First: The Human Side Of Digital Transformation

By Peter Kraft, Senior Practice Lead and Solution Architect, Xylem

Engineers assessing wastewater plant performance GettyImages-1188858012

The digital transformation of water utilities has the potential to unlock efficiencies and enable resiliency to a range of challenges, including population growth, climate change, water scarcity, and more. While the chosen technologies matter, it is all for nothing without one key element: the human component.  When people help shape the process, they take ownership. Afterall, even with high levels of automation, it is ultimately operators and other end users who act on data or enact processes. As such, successful digital transformation requires water utilities to put teams before technology.

One of the biggest obstacles in digital transformation is the lingering scars of previous failed efforts or unrealized promises. To change the script, water utilities need to start from the perspective of the end users themselves. By connecting with operators, leadership can take note of their challenges and priorities, and incorporate them into the strategy before vetting and choosing technologies.

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