Transforming industry into data-centric organisations

18th June 2024


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Industrial groups must evolve into data-centric organisations to establish a digital, interoperable, and resilient industrial value chain, as advocated by Tim Sowell, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer of AVEVA. This transformation is propelled by market dynamics, emerging technologies, and the imperative to prepare for the next generation workforce.

At the recent X-Change user conference hosted by IS³, Sowell made a compelling case for building data-driven organisations. He noted that 65% of business decisions today are more complex compared to two years ago, and poor operational decision-making typically costs organisations 3% of their annual profit. Despite this, 30% to 50% of industrial organisations have yet to achieve their desired level of data discovery and integrity. However, embracing digital collaboration can unlock productivity gains of 20% to 30%.

Data-driven organisations feature products that serve as information streams, ensuring transparency and traceability throughout their lifecycle. Physical assets are transformed into increasingly autonomous and 'self-aware' information appliances capable of gathering and utilising data about themselves and their environment. Meanwhile, value chains evolve into digital nervous systems that swiftly adapt to changing market conditions.

“Another key characteristic of data-centric organisations is that workers become problem-solvers who drive innovation and agility within organisations,” Sowell emphasised. “Work processes are designed as information loops that facilitate closed-loop feedback and continuous improvement.”

Contextualising information with the Connect industrial cloud platform

Sowell described the new norm of digital organisations, which provides remote industry experts with a 360-degree view of the 'industrial cockpit'. This includes comprehensive operational data on assets and processes, production data, engineering and asset information, alongside a 3D model (Plant Configuration Model) of deployed assets.

The critical objective is to contextualise engineering and operations information for virtual competency teams, enabling a unified experience and converting data into actionable insights.

Highlighting the significance of data integration in engineering design and construction, Sowell said AVEVA’s Connect industrial cloud platform enhances collaboration, workflows, and project quality. This addresses inefficiencies caused by underutilised data—reports indicate that 30% to 50% of engineers spend valuable time searching for information, with 96% of all data generated in Engineering and Construction remaining unused.

On the operational front, contextualised information plays a pivotal role in enabling aligned decisions across various departments and stakeholders.

“Traditionally, our industrial sector has operated in silos, but AVEVA’s Connect platform integrates physical assets, operations, products, and workforce into a dynamic digital twin environment that provides access to trusted information,” Sowell remarked.

“The platform empowers teams to securely view data in context and engage with it visually. Our focus is on transforming work processes to drive efficiency and innovation.”

*The X-Change 2024 conference is presented by IS³, a business unit of Digital Industries. It is the leading industrial software conference in Africa, presents businesses in the industrial sector with an opportunity to modernise their environments through engaging the leading technologies, expertise and partners.


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