Transforming business with strategic insights

Kim Custeau, Executive Vice-President—Portfolio, AVEVA

Business leaders anticipate instability and moderate to turbulent market conditions over the next two years, according to a World Economic Forum report this year. The outlook deteriorates over the coming 10 years against a backdrop of conflict, economic uncertainty, a warming planet and rapid technological change.

Industrial enterprises, in particular, feel the impact of small changes in their value chains acutely – because changes to one area of the production process can ripple across the entire ecosystem.

Increasingly, doing business is becoming a tightrope walk. As risks have grown, agility, flexibility and resilience are more important than ever. Maintaining industry leadership, on the other hand, requires a renewed focus on innovation—perhaps even more so in the green economy. Companies must double down on every competitive advantage they can score.

As a business community, we’ve also learned that leveraging data can ease the pain and drive transformative outcomes.

Democratizing access to the data can help companies anticipate market shifts, identify emerging trends, and optimize operations. By leveraging effectively, organizations can mitigate the impact of disruptions, maintain operational continuity, and adapt swiftly to changing circumstances, ensuring long-term success. But while we’re collecting more data than ever before, silos and legacy approaches mean it has often not been available to the teams that need it.

That’s begun to change, thanks to a radical new cloud-based paradigm. This is called Industrial Intelligence-as-a-Service (IIaaS).

Intelligent insights maximize industrial data

IIaaS helps organizations maximize the value of their two most important industrial assets: data and people. Improving access to industrial data streamlines processes for employees.

This comprehensive approach bridges IT, OT and ET with a single source of truth to create new value and sustainability realizations. This is particularly relevant at a time when the rapid pace of technological evolution combined with a complicated business environment necessitates creating a connected, always-aware enterprise that can intelligently sense and respond to business events in real time.

By marrying the scale and flexibility of cloud with advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and analytics, industrial intelligence works as a force multiplier.  Users without domain-specific expertise are empowered to understand the meaning and context of operations and engineering data and use the resulting insights to make data-driven decisions in real time to design, build and operate more efficiently and sustainably.

The trend leverages growing demand for Anything-as-a-Service (XaaS) solutions. That’s not just because the cloud is asset-light with lower hardware and logistical costs as compared to on-premises systems. XaaS applications – whether public or hybrid – are also perfect for flexible work setups, they provide the robust infrastructure needed to integrate AI at scale, and support system-wide collaboration.

Industrial intelligence delivers results

IIaaS solutions are already delivering game-changing outcomes for industrial businesses around the world.

In California, consulting firm ZGlobal and Silicon Valley Clean Energy, its utility partner, rely on cloud-based data-sharing solutions to consult and contextualize insights from across their solar power ecosystem—all in real time. They have improved transparency and collaboration, streamlined business operations, and saved thousands of dollars—all while supporting the clean energy transition.

Energy technology company Schlumberger has developed its own cloud-based platform based on a next-generation asset lifecycle management solution. Now its team can visualize their data across their entire value chain from design and build to operate and optimize. The result? More productive and engaged teams, closer collaboration, and enhanced business outcomes.

In San Francisco, cleantech start-up DERNetSoft equipped a healthcare customer with a scalable SaaS platform to collect, track and analyze data from distributed energy resources across 1,200 buildings. The customer had many distributed energy resources, including solar, wind, micro-grids and fuel cell systems, managed by different vendors, creating data silos and leading to a lack of digitization, data availability and standardization across multiple utility territories. Insights from the new platform pointed the way to cost savings and operational efficiencies. Rightsizing fuel cells and solar facilities resulted in lower electricity bills. Monitoring night-time HVAC setbacks supported estimated savings of $20,000 per building per year, or $1.7 million per year in total. The customer has already saved millions of dollars in energy costs and reimbursements for overproduction, with additional potential savings of tens of millions of dollars if all identified measures are implemented.

Real-time intelligence for resilient growth

By leveraging the flexibility, scalability and innovation capabilities of cloud solutions, industrial companies can unlock new opportunities for growth, drive operational efficiency, and advance sustainability outcomes. As traditional models give way to digital transformation, industrial intelligence will provide industrial leaders with the insights they need to navigate business risks while preserving industry leadership.