After a year of uncertainty, confusion, and disruption, suddenly people are talking about sustainability. Public opinion, government policy, and economic realities seem to be converging on this theme, pushing us towards creating a more sustainable future. The pandemic has underscored the need for us to be more effective and resilient in many ways. For industry, this points to digitization.
At a recent AVEVA World Digital event, Craig Hayman, AVEVA CEO said, “As business leaders, it’s our duty to go further and faster than we believed possible to realize a sustainable future through digital transformation.” Summing it up, he calls this the “Decade to Deliver.”
He is talking about delivering on the promises of Industrial IoT, of Industrie 4.0, and digitization. We are at a critical juncture. Many people are looking for jobs, and there is lots of work to be done. Thankfully, we have developed the necessary technologies, ready for use.
“Covid-19 is a massive catalyzer of digital adoption, because people want to be more efficient, we want to be more resilient. Therefore, things have to be connected, ” said Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and CEO of Schneider Electric, in that same on-line conference. “We want to operate things from remote, to enforce social distancing. ”
The need is there, and so are the resources. “All of this has been accelerated, ” continued Tricoire, “by the massive recovery packages like no other in history, put in place by countries, and a large part of those are about digital and green. Because countries have understood that you can’t dissociate a step-change to sustainability from digitization. ”
In the AVEVA World Digital presentations, the links from digital to sustainable were made clear through example after example. Emerging technologies for carbon capture, plant optimization, circular systems, remote access, solar parks, wind farms, decentralized power grids, and more―all rely heavily on digitized data communications. Since most CO2 emissions come from industry, transportation, and buildings, securely connecting them in real time to IT platforms empowered by AI promises to make them greener and more sustainable.
The Great Acceleration
Mike Walsh, futurist, author, and CEO of Tomorrow explained how the pandemic has opened new opportunities. It has unleashed, in his words, “the great acceleration. ” We are now living a full decade ahead of the predictions, he says, in a space that we could only imagine twelve months ago. He sees three rules in play:
- It is no longer “digital disruption, ” now it’s digital delivery. We are all disruptors now. If you are not a digital business, you are no longer in business.
- There is no such thing as “remote work”, just work. Each of us has more mobility and autonomy than ever before, and that will require documenting our decision-making, relying on data, and acting on it more quickly.
- AI will not destroy jobs, but it will change them. Rather than doing work, we will be increasingly called upon to design work. We will need to bring more of our humanity to the table.
Who would have guessed that a global pandemic would accelerate a need for digitization? Whatever the reason, all this digital data needs to be connected, and this is where Skkynet shines. We have the tools and experience to meet current and future demand for the secure, real-time data communications used in remote access and the convergence of OT, IT and the cloud. We are playing our part to help ensure a more sustainable future for industry and for the planet.