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The SIRI framework: the industry standard for assessing digital maturity

January 30, 2023

Digital maturity is a key component of Industry 4.0 readiness. To succeed in today’s volatile manufacturing industry, companies need to be able to take advantage of digital technologies and processes. The SIRI (Smart Industry Readiness Index) framework is a widely used and accepted standard for assessing digital maturity across industries. Here’s how we use this framework to help our customers evaluate their digital maturity and identify areas for improvement.

What is the Smart Industry Readiness Index (SIRI)?

The Smart Industry Readiness Index (SIRI) was created by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and launched in 2017. It is a digital maturity assessment framework that helps manufacturing companies start their transformation journey from automation (Industry 3.0) to Industry 4.0.  

During its conception phase, the EDB collaborated with tech-focused organisations, experts, and consultancy agencies across a wide range of industries and sizes to ensure that it could be used as broadly as possible. New categories and industries are still being added based on the evolving market. A truly versatile digital maturity assessment, the SIRI framework is also interesting for companies looking to challenge their existing strategy.

Why should companies use SIRI?

While it is relatively new compared to other frameworks and methodologies, the Smart Industry Readiness Index quickly gained widespread acceptance because it can be used by pretty much any organisation. Since Industry 4.0 deals with many aspects of organisational transformation, it can be challenging to grasp in its entirety. SIRI can help companies to get a bird’s eye view and define their priorities thanks to its structured approach. Thanks to the emphasis on structure, it is also quite quick compared to its competitors without sacrificing thoroughness. Assessments are often finished in a month or less.

Which companies offer a SIRI assessment service?

While it is widely used, SIRI is typically not named as such by larger enterprises carrying out branded digital maturity assessments. Besides a lack of transparency, the downside of these assessments is that they will only suggest the services and products offered by the company and its partners as solutions. It is therefore highly recommended to choose an objective assessor with verifiable credentials to get the best solution, regardless of vendor bias.

What does the SIRI assessment process look like?

Our SIRI assessment service consists of four phases. In the preparation phase, we analyse the average maturity and specifics of our clients’ industry, and their market position compared to competitors. We then schedule a brief online briefing call to discuss our findings, analyse the client’s priorities, and explain the following course of the project.

Once the preparations have concluded, we organise an assessment workshop where we go over the company’s current digital maturity in a series of focused conversations. We always insist on combining this workshop with a factory visit. That way, we can cross-reference the various automation aspects with the input we received earlier in the day and verify their status.

When we have processed the gathered data, we organise one or more gap analysis workshops. We point out the areas of improvement to reach the client’s intended level of digital maturity, and which aspects should be prioritized based on their planning horizon. For all but the smallest companies, we recommend the mid term and long term horizons to achieve sufficiently thorough transformations.

The SIRI assessment concludes with a briefing session, where we share our findings with the client. We present our different reports and graphs and their maturity scores in a comprehensible yet comprehensive presentation. We also explain our reasoning behind certain recommendations, for example why a SCADA package will help shop floor connectivity and why this should be a priority.  

The most important aspect during every phase is sufficient effort and collaboration from the client’s side. Without the right people at the table and enough relevant input, even carefully structured assessments like SIRI are bound to lack the necessary lasting impact to transform organisations.

How does a SIRI assessment evaluate digital maturity?

Since it’s such a holistic approach, explaining the details of SIRI assessment would take us several pages. Instead, we will give a general overview of its structure. The Smart Industry Readiness Index scores organisation on 16 dimensions across three pillars.

  1. Technology, which looks at the automation, connectivity, and intelligence of companies. To get a sufficiently holistic view, it considers these aspects across three different environments: the shop floor, enterprise, and facility.
  1. Organisation, which evaluates a company’s structure and management by considering both the inter- and intra-company collaboration and the strategy and governance. The organisation aspect also looks at talent readiness, which consists of the workforce learning and development, and the leadership competency.  
  1. Process, which examines both operations (vertical integration) and supply chain (horizontal integration). The SIRI framework also considers the complete (integrated) product lifecycle of an organisation’s manufactured goods.

For each dimension, companies are scored on a scale from 0 to 5. This represents a range from bottom performers to the broad middle to being best-in-class. The highest score of each pillar is added to the highest score overall, and the average of these values represents the overall score. It’s important to note that, based on the industry, the broad middle value can vary significantly. An industry could have a shop floor automation score of just 2 as the broad middle, while its supply chain maturity sits at a solid 4.  

Some industries are already more mature when it comes to smart industry readiness. For example, in the semiconductor industry the maturity is high, but the difference between the best-in-class and bottom performers is quite small. If your company is operating in such an industry, you just cannot afford to lag behind.

We find that expectation management is often a big part of these conversations: companies should not strive to achieve a score of 5 on every single dimension. During the gap assessment workshop, we define a list of KPIs. These are prioritized and scored using the TIER formula: Today’s state, Impact to bottom line, Essential business objectives, and References to the broader community.

How long does a SIRI assessment take?

Our initial online call lasts about two hours, while the assessment workshop and factory take one day. The gap analysis workshops last for about half a day each, and the final briefing session also takes half a day. This means that we need about five days of meetings spread throughout the project, while we process and analyse each phase’s results in between.  

The total duration of a SIRI assessment varies based on the size of the company and the scope of the assessment. For smaller to mid-sized organisations, two weeks generally suffice, while larger organisations take about one month. For larger enterprises, we suggest working on a site level rather than tackling the entire organisation at once. This allows us to score the sites individually, instead of having to use average values across all sites.

Is the SIRI assessment a standalone service?

For most of our clients, the SIRI assessment is just the first part of a total Industry 4.0 overhaul. Coretecs specialises in helping them every step of the way, starting with an assessment to define their strategy, followed by planning, execution and support of their digital transformation journeys.  

During these latter phases, we can leverage our position within The Cronos Group to access thousands of experts across a wide range of technologies. Our extensive experience with the manufacturing industry has taught us that a holistic approach is highly recommended, but we also offer the SIRI assessment as a service on its own.

Do you want to know more about the Smart Industry Readiness Index? Want to assess your digital maturity using a holistic framework? At Coretecs, we are a pioneer of SIRI in Belgium, and one of the very few companies worldwide who assess independent of vendors and partnerships.
Contact us today to find out more!

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