I enjoyed having the opportunity this morning to speak to everyone attending OPTIMIZE 2019 — hundreds of industry professionals ready to take the next step on their digital journey to operational excellence. We have so much great information to present at this year’s conference as we work with our customers to help them run their assets safer, greener, longer and faster.
Harnessing the power of advanced digital technologies will be critical to all of these organizations, especially as they search for new ways to compete and win amid volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) conditions. Population growth, shifting trends in oil consumption and the call for sustainable practices are changing the game for companies in the process industries and beyond.
Fortunately, a new generation of technologies is opening the door to opportunities that were previously impossible. By combining the physical and chemical principles embedded in operational software with the analytics capabilities of advanced technologies, organizations can completely reassess the upper bounds of operational excellence — and do it within the context of a market that demands sustainability.
The growing popularity of electric vehicles and increased reliance on renewable energy sources are two major factors affecting energy usage patterns worldwide. These changes are driving oil companies to transition their business models and making “crude oil to chemicals” (COTC) a viable strategy for oil business transformation.
In addition, zero-carbon and low-carbon initiatives, a need for energy and water efficiency, air quality regulations and climate change are prime concerns for shareholders — and therefore are at top of mind for industry leaders.
Achieving Market Leadership in a Changing World
To meet the needs of today’s market — and tomorrow’s — capital-intensive businesses need to transform their industrial facilities and value chains into a system of smart, self-optimizing, semi-autonomous assets. This is how they will achieve higher levels of safety, sustainability, performance, agility and profitable growth while also enabling critical new business models.
Drawing on the data generated over decades of operations, process manufacturers and other organizations can now leverage technologies such as high-performance computing, artificial intelligence and analytics to generate insights that go deeper than ever. By incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities into their existing operating technology (OT) and information technology (IT), their systems will be empowered to transcend functional silos and operate semi-autonomously (and eventually autonomously) to drive maximum profit — while at the same time operating safely, minimizing environmental impact and ensuring greater reliability and efficiency.
The exciting part is, the building blocks to create this “digital enterprise of the future” are here today. This is what we’ll be talking about with our customers all week: positioning them to achieve market leadership while also maintaining their “social license to operate.”
The key to success will be combining the benefits of technology with organizational capabilities and processes to adapt to a changing world. The sooner this happens, the better — and there’s no better place to start than OPTIMIZE 2019.
To learn more about leveraging Industry 4.0 and AI capabilities to achieve sustainable operational excellence, please read my new executive brief: Next-Generation Operational Technologies Enable the Smart Enterprise in a Changing World.