Regardless of the vertical industry, industrial companies today operate under multiple constraints and business challenges.
Mining, for example, is particularly sensitive to global economic swings. With resource prices fixed on the open market, the only way to boost turnover is to increase volumes, and the only way to improve profitability is to reduce costs and maximise return on asset investment, all in the face of rising raw material and energy costs.
Price volatility and the shifts in demand encourage facilities in the Oil and Gas industry to focus on “sweating the assets”, safely increasing the business output in an environmentally sound manner.
Pressures in the Food and Beverage, CPG industries are also at an all-time high. The number of product variations has surged along with the velocity of new product introductions and a growing mountain of legislation designed to protect the health and safety of consumers, with good reason.
Then there is an undeniable and genuine challenge of a generational shift in the workforce. A generation of millennials, amateur professionals, are taking over the workforce. Coupled with the problem of how to capture valuable years of experience, expertise and tribal knowledge maintained by the older leaving workforce to ensure that companies can continue operating the way they have. Doing so safely is of course imperative.
We are all exposed to a tremendous amount of hype and noise around digital technology: Everyone is talking about "going digital", and this is not artificial, it’s a genuine need and a legitimate challenge. It is however easy to get confused by the influx of noise and information, without a valid context of how these digital toolsets can be put to play in addressing real business problems.
With the advent of cheap sensors and cheap networks, much of this focused on the notion of connectivity. Deploy many intelligent devices talking to each other, talking to various systems all pushing information up into the Cloud, allowing some analytics to help you understand what’s happening. But what do you do with that information and how do you close the loop?
A digital platform has to be a lot more than just connectivity and the analysis of data, no matter how robust that analysis could be. Add to this the aspects of Artificial Intelligence, AR and VR and the added complexity of Cybersecurity. Companies now not only grapple with industry challenges to meet business objectives and outcomes but also with technology strategies. If technology doesn’t address the real business process problems, it is not adding value.
You're game plan for Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is a journey, which begins with a deep understanding of global demands, industry challenges and business objectives. Implementing next-generation innovation through extensive coverage of the industrial manufacturing value chain transforms processes and empowers people to achieve business outcomes.
New to the Annual X-Change User Conference agenda this year are Industry Journey sessions and Industry Innovation pods as part of the Collaboration Expo. Specific to Mining, Minerals and Metals, Food and Beverage, CPG, Water and Wastewater, Oil and Gas and Industrial Manufacturing, these sessions and workshops are designed to demonstrate how digitalisation transforms business processes and the entire value chain to align with business goals.
Join industry thought leaders, our partners and customers at X-Change 2018, from 15-18 April as we share our vision, game plan and successes in this journey of digital transformation!