We use cookies
To help provide you with a good experience on our website. By continuing to browse the website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Digitalization With A Capital ‘D’ Is Dead


Digitalization With A Capital ‘D’ Is Dead

There's an idea that Digitalization with a capital "D" is necessary, but that it's possible to get it done on a separate track from everyday activities. A one-time Digitalization attempt that is supposed to change everything. That idea is obsolete. - Forbes

It will take more than a one-time transformation to reshape the industry. So, how do we enable a thousand smaller transformations over time? Because each and every transformation has its own eureka moment, the moment when a domain expert realizes that a data-driven "tool" makes operations more sustainable and makes the work that much smarter, that much faster.

Think of data as a raw material. It needs to be refined and turned into products that everyone can use. Data is only valuable if it can be turned into insights and action. When that happens, it becomes the most powerful driver of industrial sustainability out there. We need to bake this idea into our strategies and how we deliver from day one.

Three Steps To Getting The Most Out Of Your Data

To get to the point in which multiple "eureka moments" are occurring on a regular basis across your operation, I see three key steps that you must take in order to reap the rewards of industrial data operations.

1. Put data in the hands of your people.

The winning teams in the industrial transformation race will be the ones who use their data to give experts the best information possible, so they can act fast, tackle the toughest challenges and make the smartest decisions.

In my experience, this means making it a priority from day one to put in place a high-quality data infrastructure that everyone can access and use. It sounds simple enough, but so many companies today still restrict data access and believe it only to be relevant to a select few data scientists or the team running an isolated Digitalization project, note the capital D.

By putting broad access to data in place, you suddenly enable anyone, no matter their job title or department, to access and innovate based on that data. Fifty years ago, we thought the same way about computers, only giving select departments these powerful machines. Now everyone has a computer in their pocket, and no company has been the same since.

2. Use data to link sustainability to your business targets.

When you put a data infrastructure in place and use it to develop business-unit-specific solutions, I've learned that the savings can often go beyond the obvious assumptions.

My company worked with a European energy company, for example, which has been able to effectively deploy half a dozen digital initiatives in less than a year, including production and injection planning, gas lift optimization, operational optimization and more. The added value of these combined projects is estimated in the millions annually, not to mention the added value from reduced manual hours and lowered risk. The company has also put their data to work to support their business from a sustainability perspective, cutting their average CO2 emissions.

Oil and gas are examples of a heavy asset industry under immense pressure to both reduce their emissions as well as to maintain production to meet ongoing demand. This will require radically different ways of operating, and unless you understand and make use of the data at your disposal, the changes will be incremental and insufficient.

However, when companies open up the "data box" and use it to explore more sustainable ways of operating, they tap into unexpected "eureka moments" in terms of both cost savings and emissions reductions. The data is simply what opened the door to the possibilities.

3. Be open with your data across the value chain.

What I’ve learned from collaborating with heavy-asset companies as they navigate their transformation journeys is that data works best when it is shared. And I don’t just mean within the company. I mean across the value chain.

We call this "data transparency," and it leads to more valuable action. No industrial player operates in isolation. There are buyers and suppliers, which create a number of dependencies throughout the lifecycle. When you connect the data between players, you can optimize things such as vessel speeds, reduce time spent on tasks like surveying, implement predictive maintenance to fix things before they break, improve time to delivery and make better decisions overall that benefit your operation in the long-run.

Data: The $1 Trillion Opportunity

The World Economic Forum estimated that the digitalization of the oil and gas supply chain alone could be a $1 trillion opportunity — emphasis on the "supply chain." An oil operator won't be able to reap the full value, both in terms of profitability and sustainability benefits, unless the full value chain also embraced an industrial data operations mindset and a shared belief in the benefits of data transparency to enable faster and more valuable action. I can't even imagine the dollar value if you look at the data opportunity across all heavy-asset industries and their supply chains.

It is only when companies get a birds-eye view of their industrial reality that they can develop solutions that truly impact the business. An industrial data operations approach that empowers all industrial workers with the ability to create value from data is the secret ingredient to making digital transformation happen over and over again, spurring on endless "eureka moments" from across the operation and throughout the entire supply chain.

In the industrial transformation race, the companies that prioritize a strong industrial data foundation will be the ones who stay in the lead. The companies who stick to their belief in an outmoded version of Digitalization with a capital D, the one-hit-wonder, may be left struggling at the back of the pack.

Dr. Francois Laboire, President of Cognite, Silver Partner of Go Digital Energy

Relevant news

Cognite advances industrial data modeling practices for digital twins
Cognite, announced advanced data modeling capabilities coming to its Industrial DataOps platform.
Cognite releases native simulator integration and hybrid AI workflow capabilities
Data Fusion, new Cognite AI will help organizations to automate routine simulator studies or monitor problem cases.
Digitalization requires connecting the dots between net-zero goals, technology, and data
Exclusive interview with Sarah Barrett on the challenges facing the maritime industry on its decarbonisation journey.
Towards a global agenda for digitalization without greenhouse emissions – analysis
Reconciling digitalization with decarbonization is one of the essential elements of the global agenda that has not been appropriately addressed.
Schlumberger and Cognite to drive ‘step-change for industrial digitalisation at scale’ for energy sector
Enterprise Data Solution with an open, industrial platform will unlock customers’ operational data and deliver value faster.
Aramco invests in Cognite
Saudi Aramco, Cognite’s long-time digitalization partner in the Middle East, acquired a 7.4% stake in Cognite.