Why You need to consider a Socio Technical Approach when Implementing Digital Projects in Manufacturing

Benefits of Digitisation in Manufacturing

At Dataworks, we have seen first-hand the profound transformative impact that Digitisation can have in a Manufacturing environment. With Dataworks’ help, our clients have reaped the benefits of Digitisation to revolutionise their everyday processes, from increased efficiency and reduced costs, to improved quality control.

As witnessed during the COVID pandemic, the advances in technology have allowed for instant communication, enabling teams to stay connected even in the most isolating times.

Pitfalls to Consider when Digitising Processes in Manufacturing

However, in spite of the advantages of Digitisation, it is essential that organisations are aware of the possible pitfalls of such a transformation if a socio-technical approach is not taken. Below we have listed some of the pitfalls to be mindful of when digitising your operation:

  1. Resistance to change: Employees who have been performing manual processes for years may be resistant to change, especially if they perceive that their jobs are at risk. This resistance can manifest as a lack of engagement with the new digital system, or even active resistance to its implementation.
  2. Training and skills gaps: Implementing a new digital system often requires employees to learn new skills and tools. If training is not provided adequately, employees may struggle to adapt to the new system, leading to frustration and errors.
  3. Cybersecurity risks: Digitising manual processes often involves the use of internet-connected devices and systems, which can create new cybersecurity risks. Organizations need to ensure that their digital systems are secure and that employees are trained on cybersecurity best practices.
  4. Integration challenges: Integrating new digital systems with existing manual processes and legacy systems can be challenging. Without proper planning and execution, this can lead to downtime and productivity losses.
  5. Data management issues: Digitisation often generates vast amounts of data, which can be overwhelming if not managed properly. Organisations need to have a clear data management plan in place to ensure that data is collected, stored, and analysed effectively.
  6. Human error: Even with the most advanced digital systems, human error is always a risk. Organizations need to be aware of this and implement measures such as automation, checks, and balances, and employee training to minimize the risk of human error.
  7. Weakening of social skills: our real-life social skills can suffer due to the ease of communication online.

By adopting a Socio-Technical Approach, you achieve the following benefits:

  • Improved engagement from associates
  • A better understanding and analysis of the Current State
  • A greater understanding of how the system may be improved and the Desired Future State
  • A higher likelihood of the improvement project succeeding

We believe that by applying Critical Thinking to the “Requirements and Analysis” phase of the solution development and adopting a Socio-Technical approach, you have a better chance of arriving at the correct Desired Future State and a successful project outcome.

Ultimately, we want to achieve an optimisation where the People and Technology can co-exist in harmony and drive improvement.


In conclusion, organisations need to be aware of the possible socio-technical pitfalls when digitising manual processes in a manufacturing environment. By identifying and addressing these challenges, you can ensure a successful transformation that delivers real business benefits. At Dataworks, we put people at the centre of everything we do, we understand the importance of keeping your team connected and can ensure that your company fully embraces digital without compromise.

If you would like to learn how Dataworks can help you on your Digitisation journey get in touch today on 051 878555 or email us at info@dataworks.ie

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