Data, analysis, and visualization provide a network effect that empowers empirical decision-making for long-term enterprise sustainability.
By Ravi Gopinath – is Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Cloud Officer at AVEVA.
Ever since silver ore was discovered there in 1859, a continual influx of visitors to Carson City, Nev.—and the demand on public works that comes with this rush—has challenged city officials. Today, preventing any disruption of utility services means the Carson City Public Works Department must monitor and manage utilities across three counties.
To keep up with demand, for several years the city has used an intelligent and intuitive connected infrastructure system that can remotely calibrate and seamlessly switch up service responses to meet demand for transportation, power, and water systems. Using mobile devices, connected workers—field staff, engineers, and operators—can access critical key performance indicator (KPI) data and process information from the field, often in real time. A virtual representation of city resources on employees’ handsets helps them anticipate problems and take preventive action.
With its connected workers already using remote, integrated solutions, Carson City’s operations presaged the widespread workplace changes unfolding around the globe in response to the pandemic.
The connected worker, integrated into the workplace environment by advanced networking technologies, is the human representation of digital transformation, interpreting networked data inputs collected from across an organizational grid to provide context, insight, and guidance that improves decision-making across the value chain: optimizing assembly-line operations, making inventory-adjustment decisions, fine-tuning heavy machinery.
Nearly half of all industrial organizations expect operational data to grow more than 15% over 12 months, according to IDC’s 2020 Worldwide IT/OT Convergence Survey.
When driven by data, decision-making is quicker and offers less room for error than decisions made without the benefit of this information. The connected decision-maker doesn’t need to be a domain expert—data-analytics platforms can shortlist optimum and empirically sound actions to support the best possible business outcomes.
The development ties into a dynamic shift in workplace demographics. With skilled specialists and knowledge experts aging out of the workforce, as OECD data indicates, the digital natives of Generations Y and Z possess an intuitive understanding of technology but may not have amassed the specialized engineering capabilities and experiential knowledge these industries demand. Cloud-based connected-workplace technology bridges the experiential knowledge gap across the shop floor, across generations, and across the globe.
Consequently, with digital assets fast becoming the backbone of industrial organizations, today’s connected worker accesses data and collaborates with disparate teams across time zones and geographies to unlock value in a radically different way.
With the connected worker key to digital transformation, C-suite leaders must strategize on empowering their workforce across three dimensions:
Data, analytics, and visualization form the essential toolkit for the connected worker. When these three elements come together, as the Carson City Public Works Department has shown, digital teams can collaborate quickly and more effectively while delivering a competitive advantage in the pandemic-era business cycle and beyond. Connected workers are already indispensable for industrial organizations, and the right digital toolkit will empower them to make the most of their new digitally transformed workplaces.
Source: Harvard Business Review