Innovation is in the tech sector’s DNA and change, therefore, is commonplace for this group of curious people whose default setting lies outside the envelope. 

The Digital Transformation of the Year Award recognizes teams from any industry that go beyond an innovative mindset to demonstrate outstanding vision and innovation for driving digital adoption and leveraging technology to revolutionize and elevate their operations and/or industry standards.  

Last year’s winner – the team of Growth Heroes and System Scale – stood out from a crowded field of nominees due to their decade-plus-long, soup-to-nuts transformation project and how the tech team involved System Scale’s employee-owners in the process.  

The 2024 nominees have done exceptional work to eliminate barriers for Hoosiers seeking to begin new careers, improved company internal functionality, made important, potentially lifesaving, health care improvements, and made improvements in advanced manufacturing that will have a global effect. 

The summaries below of the 11 nominees’ performance just skim the surface of what they have achieved. We encourage you to follow these companies as they continue to break down barriers and harness technology to benefit Indiana and the world. 

The 2024 nominees for Digital Transformation of the Year award are:  

Butler University, Butler+ Division of Professional Studies, (DPS) Indianapolis: DPS focuses on delivering accessible, lifelong education responsive to students and the workforce’s evolving needs. Its outcomes are designed to grow non-traditional/adult enrollment and prepare learners for evolving roles in the workforce. DPS has launched over 15 programs in just two years, serving over ten employer partners and 1,200 adult learners. The division is part of Butler Ventures, which was created to serve as the university’s growth engine for transformation and to respond to the economic and societal forces disrupting higher education. Through DPS’ strategy of certifying non-traditional learning experiences and creating stackable pathways, the division equips learners with skills and credentials needed to meet workforce demands and bridges the gap between education and employment. Butler+ is a virtual gateway to the university, a user-friendly web portal, and a one-stop shop for learners, earners, and employers to access information, resources, and career advancement opportunities. Since 2010, Butler has partnered with more than 70 employers and equipped more than 6,500 people with the skills and expertise necessary for career success. 

Cummins, Inc., Columbus: Cummins’s Digital Organization – Analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) developed a range of services that leverage AI and machine learning models to provide data-driven solutions for various domains. Called the “Digital Core,” the services are based on a novel concept of ontology, a semantic layer that connects different data sources and formats using various tools and technologies. A data warehouse and a digital twin of Cummins’ business processes and operations, Digital Core enables faster and smarter data products that support diverse analytics needs, from operational to exploratory, from professional to citizen. It is a service provider for internal business units and a platform builder that has created a robust and scalable foundation that seamlessly integrates data and models. This foundation enables Cummins to offer inference data services that can be accessed by any application or system that needs data analytics. This foundation hosts user-friendly interfaces that allow users to interact with the data and models and generate actionable insights that inform decision-making. 

Elanco Animal Health, Indianapolis: Elanco is committed to evolving its commercial go-to marketing strategy from a predominantly face-to-face model with a few disjointed online touchpoints to an integrated omnichannel experience enabled by data and predictive analytics. Historically, sales reps were not informed of any digital touchpoints reaching their customers; customers had to access multiple sites to find what they needed; and the entire product portfolio was unavailable online. The company developed a five-year global IT roadmap to enable an omnichannel vision, leveraging global software deployments as a service platform to drive efficiency and scale. The connected IT platforms enabled the company to build a single view of all customer data. With analytics and AI, Elanco further refined its targeting and ability to predict the “next best action” through face-to-face and digital interactions to ensure customers get the right message through the right channel at the right time. More customer touchpoints were created to increase the volume of content. Elanco launched an internal creative agency for consumers, pet owners, and veterinary customers. The work resulted in higher sales, increased customer touchpoints, and quicker first sales. 

Eli Lilly & Company, Indianapolis: Responding to a rise in digital health technologies and acceleration of remote monitoring, Lilly integrated connected, wearable devices into drug trials to enable remote participation. These trials created unprecedented amounts of data that were equivalent to what would be generated by a few hundred conventional studies. Lilly’s Digital Health team developed a sensor cloud called Magnol.Ai to efficiently process the data. The tool is compatible with multiple devices, whether Lilly-made or not. It is helping accelerate Lilly’s digital biomarker development, emerging as a key to personalized health and wellness solutions. Magnol.Ai enables scientists to provide actionable discoveries and proof points faster than traditional methods.

In many cases, the company can measure disease-related physiology remotely throughout clinical trials to offer unique insights into patient health. It can also help define common standards across disease states for data reusability and reproducibility. Lilly’s work in this area has been recognized externally through presentations at conferences, publications, innovation awards, and commercial partnerships. Magnol.Ai will be a key tool in the company’s ongoing mission to accelerate innovation and support successful patient outcomes. 

Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Indianapolis: Indiana has many programs to help unemployed insurance claimants upskill, reskill, and change jobs, but it can be difficult for users to find the right starting point. “Pivot” simplifies the process and helps job seekers explore opportunities and helps them get the training or education necessary to advance their careers. Pivot leverages the Indiana Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) to provide a robust data set linking education and workforce outcomes. At its core, Pivot is a recommender system with hybrid filtering trained on the SLDS data. It goes beyond offering links to ob opportunities to provide pay scale and suggest training options based on the user’s background. Users grade their interest in job options and can give additional feedback to help Pivot curate future suggestions. In the 26 weeks since its launch, users have interacted with Pivot nearly 18,000 times. DWD anticipates the tool can be used by other state agencies as well. 

LHP Engineering Solutions, Columbus: Smart Manufacturing requires a high degree of automation and the integration of various systems to deliver optimal performance and a return on investment. These systems have evolved over decades in a highly proprietary, closed manner by the companies that design and sell them. The resulting landscape of incompatible machine communication creates costly delays and complexity in product launches for U.S. automakers Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis (USCAR) and throughout the automotive supply base. The manufacturers’ lack of a unified “plug and play” capability across industrial control systems adversely impacts their ability to provide information retrieval and communication between factory floor devices and systems. This drives up costs and complexity for suppliers throughout the extended supply base. LHP used its deep experience and large-scale data analytics capabilities to create a new standard, SAE USCAR53: Industrial Data Communication for Automotive Manufacturing, that solves this decades-old problem. Working with USCAR and others, LHP will lead communication, marketing, training for the new standard, and recurring change management and revision release planning. Formal integration and/or alignment with related standards efforts are currently under consideration. 

Lionfish Cyber Security, Indianapolis: Many of Indiana’s businesses lack the cyber resilience to withstand or recover from cyber attacks, a vulnerability exacerbated by a shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals. Lionfish’s solution, the Cyber Security Risk Management Enablement Platform, represents a pioneering step in workforce development within the cybersecurity space. Its dual focus on Governance Risk and Compliance (GRC) management and workforce development distinguishes cloud-based platforms. It utilizes modules for compliance, workflow solutions, tool identification, vendor management, and training. It bridges the gap between academic learning and practical, real-world cybersecurity challenges and fosters a skilled workforce ready to tackle cybersecurity challenges. The platform’s scalability is evident in its growing partnerships with educational institutions across Indiana, creating a “force multiplier” effect that extends the initiative’s reach and efficacy. Over 47 students have benefited from the program, and 50 are on a waitlist. The Lionfish platform is funded through state grants and employer participation. Lionfish significantly contributes to enhanced cyber resilience in Indiana and beyond through its comprehensive platform, strategic partnerships, and focus on creating a skilled, locally-based workforce. 

MathTrack Institute, Indianapolis: MathTrack Institute leaders wanted to solve the national mathematics teacher shortage by removing barriers to education and training. The organization determined that working adults needed a new, technology competency-based program more like Duolingo rather than the conventional series of time-based lectures and courses to prepare for licensure. MathTrack achieved state accreditation for its innovative program and quickly added 123 people to Indiana’s math teaching talent pipeline, which was the equivalent of all other institutions and alternative programs combined. That success helped the organization raise a seed round of $1.2 million and create a similar bachelor’s degree program that was user-centric, technology-based, and understood the needs of a working adult seeking college credit for viable work in the industry. MathTrack secured additional state agencies’ authorization, accreditation, and approval for the first-of-its-kind high-tech, apprenticeship-based degree program for applied mathematics. MathTrack enables adults to obtain a bachelor’s degree at a fraction of the cost of the traditional pathway, all while working full-time with salary and benefits. Multiple universities are now seeking partnerships with MathTrack to power their apprenticeship programs. 

OneAmerica Financial, Indianapolis: In 2023, OneAmerica’s IT and Data teams reimagined and reshaped how the company operates and innovates. Through a strategic focus on an Integrated Enterprise approach that brought together cross-disciplinary teams, the company increased its ability to deliver business value with certainty, and they did it on budget and on time. In doing so, OneAmerica placed itself at the forefront of the financial industry with its cross-functional AI task force, led by its CISO, to make the best use of new technology safely and securely. The strategic realignment introduced the company’s first Chief Data Officer, who brought business, data analytics, and technology under a single leader. The revamped data strategy included the implementation of a modernized Snowflake platform foundation. The company shifted from rigid legacy platforms to a more flexible data provisioning framework that aligns with business goals. OneAmerica has also been deliberate in incubating thought leadership in Indianapolis. In 2023, it launched the Indy Digital Executive Roundtable series, which brings key thought leaders and local business champions together to discuss the latest digital strategies, advancing growth through the spirit of partnership. 

Recovery Force Health, Fishers: The Recovery Force Health Movement and Compressions (MAC) System is a groundbreaking innovation focused on Sequential Compression Devices (SCDs), which traditionally tether patients with cumbersome cords/tubes and noisy pumps and has remained unchanged for more than 30 years. The MAC System, coupled with real-time mobility tracking, is a tubeless, cordless, non-pneumatic compression device for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) prevention. The device’s screen displays invaluable insights like how long patients have been in bed upright and how many steps they’ve taken. This data is compared today vs. yesterday, helping patients and caregivers see progress. In addition to being a third of the size of the current standard of care SCDs, less noisy, more comfortable, and cordless/tubeless, the MAC System can reveal previously invisible data. Caregivers can access real-time information about patients’ mobility, eliminating the guesswork involved in traditional care. The company’s clinical trials demonstrated a 205 percent average increase in compliance (wear time) and heightened patient and staff satisfaction.  

Wabash Heartland Innovation Network (WHIN), West Lafayette: WHIN is systematizing and accelerating digital transformation in 10 north-central Indiana counties through a program it designed and called “Living Lab” to harness the forces of technological change and advance growth and prosperity. Indiana’s advanced industries are 20 percent behind the U.S. average in productivity, and Hoosier farmers are 18 percent behind in production due to lagging digitalization. The Living Lab works with farmers and manufacturers to form user communities interested in trying new technology. WHIN vets newly- and nearly-commercialized IoT technologies, subsidizes initial purchases and continues a partial subsidy for adopters in their second year. By the third year, when the value of the technology is established, adopters pay nearly the full cost. The strategy helped bring the first robotics plant dedicated to agriculture to Indiana. The Living Lab also contributes to the digital transformation of education and workforce development by sharing rich, real-world data from adopted technology. WHIN has also made other investments that support the region’s development into a tech powerhouse, completing in 2023 a $6 million investment in the region’s 28 school corporations to strengthen network-based access and learning for more than 50,000 K-12 students. 

Only one of these innovators can win the Digital Transformation of the Year Award.  

All award winners will be announced at the 25th annual TechPoint Mira Awards gala on Friday, April 26, 2024, at the Old National Centre in Indianapolis. The event is presented by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Salesforce, and a host of the state’s most innovative companies, universities, and organizations. See that growing list, learn more, and get your tickets here