Digitisation, the best friend of a bicycle repairer

2015-08-06, 14:32 Posted by: Jeri Vääri, Business Unit Director

There was something wrong with the gears of my bicycle. Was the problem something I could easily repair myself? As usual, I started searching for a solution online. The method didn't fail this time either.

A video on YouTube showed how the typical fault of the gears in question could be fixed. The discussion below provided some extra tips for fixing the problem.

The situation was trivial, but at the same time, a good and concrete example of today's digitisation. Among other things, digitisation means that people can find each other and their skills online.

In the future, this becomes more and more wide-spread and easy, as people, machines and services are made to work seamlessly together.

For instance, maintenance teams will be digitally integrated. The teams will have access to all of the necessary electronic information, as well as other team members' professional skills and silent knowledge.

LEARNING FROM EACH OTHER is an important part of digitisation, and it is a well-known fact that you can learn from your mistakes the best. Thanks to digitisation, we get to also see mistakes made by others, and can learn to avoid them ourselves. Someone could show their erroneously adjusted bicycle gears and explain how making the same mistake could be avoided.

Many professionals construct digital learning environments for their own skills. There, they can test and learn things at their leisure, even through trial and error.

You only move to the real work after you are sure you know what you are doing and it is safe to begin. This method is already in wide use in industry.

DIGITISATION INCREASES safety wherever people go and whatever they do. I was able to repair my bicycle, but a more dramatic example can be found in the skies: digitisation prevents airplanes from falling and disappearing.

How does it do this?

The principle is simple and applies to the utilisation of digitisation in all other areas as well. It can be summarised in three sentences: Stop guessing and start knowing. Collect information and make use of it. Teach the stakeholders of your organisation how to use information efficiently and get them committed to it.

The threefold principle becomes concrete when you think of it as a five-step programme where you first acquire all the possible information on the airplane and its operating environment. This information is analysed and processed further (the second step).

In the third step, the information is used to improve and maintain the performance of the airplane. Next, you train and commit the people (the fourth step). This requires that the management takes responsibility and sets an example (the fifth step).

When digitisation is harnessed to help us, we get information on hazard situations immediately; in the best case, before any real danger occurs. Predictions are made based on machines deducing future events on the basis of the collected information.

THE HUMAN SPECIES is curious and gregarious. We want to feel that we belong to a group and, at the same, we want to constantly know more: where are we going and what is happening. We are not alone and we feel safe when we know that others can be reached quickly and easily.

In the future, digitisation will enable completely new things that we cannot even dream about now. People have the need to always seek improvement in everything they do. Digitisation offers a great tool for this.

People will also be in the centre of digitisation in the future. Whether we are fixing bicycle gears, piloting an airplane or, for instance, seeking solutions for the sustainable use of natural resources.

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