Transformative disruption: the brave new world of industrial IoT
Innovation is AVEVA’s DNA. That’s why I joined the company. It’s why I love spending time with some of the most innovative engineering and industrial companies on the planet. From them, I learn how technology is transforming the way businesses think, act and operate. In their offices, I get to see how our tech is empowering teams to work smarter, faster and collaborate better.
But nobody ever said that optimising complex value-chain businesses is easy. With forces of globalisation changing before our eyes, and the established operating environment in flux from NAFTA to the EU, it becomes more difficult to find the best path forward. As IHS Markit put it last month, “politics is whipsawing oil prices” , with a potential return to volatility throughout the global economy. As we all know: in uncertain times, lean capital expenditure and operating break-evens become the cardinal measures of success.
Sharpening your digital leading edge
The pressure to stay ahead is nothing new. Back in 2017, the World Economic Forum predicted the central role that digital technology would play in enabling growth, creating as much as $400 billion in new value for the mining and metals industry, up to $550 billion for the chemicals industry, and $1.3 trillion in the electricity sector by 2025 . As companies discover the full potential of cloud computing, the industrial Internet of things (IIoT), artificial intelligence, and augmented and virtual reality, the potential upside will be even greater. My hunch is supported by others: in a survey that AVEVA conducted with analysts Vanson Bourne last year, 93% of industrial leaders surveyed confirmed that Digital Transformation is at or near the top of their strategic agenda. More recently, Gartner cited it as one of the top three concerns for global chief executives. But when you’re faced with a plethora of possible transformative technologies, how you know which solution will be the best fit for your business, how can you find the right partner to advise you?
Sharing experience, wherever you are on your digital journey
This question explains why I’m so excited to speak to our customers. Because they are often the best place to begin to acquire inspiration on how to make digital transformation a reality. Understanding how Shell, Covestro, GS Caltex or Nestlé have approached and embraced digital transformation can be a useful template. These are the companies embracing mobile, cloud and augmented/virtual reality solutions to redefine how they run complex, global businesses. Speaking to them, it’s easy to see that a central control room cascading instructions to the operators in the field will soon be outmoded. Companies like Italpresse Gauss, have already made this step, to enormous success.
Hearing executives’ experiences of how they took the decision to embrace digital technology, quick wins and longer-term lessons is incredibly useful for those who are beginning their transformation journey too. Last week we were privileged to have the entrepreneur Easton LaChappelle speak at one of our #AVEVAWorld conferences in Dallas. Easton discussed how from a prototype made of Lego, garden gloves and fishing line, he used 3D printing and AI to create human-like, light, comfortable and cost competitive prosthetic limbs. His inventions have completely disrupted the medical prosthetics market. His experience was inspirational – the more so because he was only 14 when he started his company.
Easton’s experience is valuable to all companies, because even if this isn’t your first rodeo, you can be sure that there is a fresh innovation that you need to harness, fresh upside to explore. Next month at our conference in Palm Springs, I’m looking forward to hearing about how the Formula 1 industry has turned its business model on its head by using Digital Twin technology. It’s changed not only how the cars are built and run, but also how drivers are recruited and trained.
Transformative conversations, tomorrow’s innovations
As a global leader in engineering and industrial technology, we are privileged to work with the best. One of the most valuable benefits of partnership is sharing the lessons learned from different sectors with companies in other market verticals, cross-fertilising value and sharing knowledge. Helping to spark the transformative conversations that can lead to tomorrow’s industrial innovations is core to my role as CEO.
You can find out more about digital transformation at the AVEVA World Summit taking place in October in Palm Springs. Find out more about the Summit and join the discussion here.