Digital transformation is changing the way we live, work and play. It is pervasive – from our homes to entire cities; from our workplaces to industry; and from our communication devices to our mode of transportation. And we – both people and organizations – are benefiting from it considerably. More on the benefits later.
First, let’s look at two major areas of digitization – energy management and automation.
Human life and progress on Earth is heavily dependent on both energy and automation – making us more efficient, reliable, safe and sustainable. Through digitization we can scale human capability to unprecedented levels.
However, do we know that this transformation has humanity progressing along the right trajectory? Where are the tangible results of digitization?
The evidence from 230 projects
At Schneider Electric, we started looking for proof. The result is the Global Digital Transformation Benefits Report 2019 we recently published. We studied 230 digitization projects implemented by our customers in 41 countries over the past five years using our EcoStruxure™ solutions and we found 330 quantifiable customer benefit data points.
Among the key findings of the report is the dismissal of the myth that digital transformation is an expensive upfront prospect – especially where CapEx is concerned. Our study shows that digitization allows for faster and easier integration of systems and equipment. In addition, new data enables intelligent maintenance which, in turn, increases the longevity of assets.
And so, digital transformation drives significant savings in engineering costs and time optimization – 35% on average.
Wide Bay Water Corporation runs the state-of-the-art Nikenbah wastewater treatment plant in Queensland, Australia. Population growth and aging infrastructure were putting pressure on the corporation to expand and modernize its systems. Turning to EcoStruxure™ to drive their digital transformation, the corporation could cut project costs. These savings were made possible by speeding engineering integration times by 20%, and shortening commissioning times by 25%.
Real-time operations visibility
The report also uncovered evidence that digital transformation is helping businesses and organizations better manage OpEx. This is primarily through deep, real-time visibility into operational technology. Asset performance is key. Energy savings, foundational. Such intelligence, coupled with informed and timely actions, transforms productivity.
With a central dashboard, businesses can now easily locate and execute performance enhancements. The results here attest to these capabilities — Schneider Electric customers have reduced energy consumption by as much as 85 percent.
Deep in the Mojave Desert, United States, Edwards Air Force Base spans 470 square miles of rugged wilderness. Frequently buffeted by hurricane-strength winds and baked by extreme temperatures, the base, with its 19 runways, faced a daunting task in ensuring reliable power distribution. The base installed EcoStruxure™ Power Monitoring Expert, a tool that offered moment-by-moment monitoring of energy use and performance. As a result, the base put into place programs that cut energy consumption by 18.1% in the first year alone.
Digital transformation works – The Global Digital Transformation Benefits Report 2019 stands testament to that, offering more insights and proof. In this report, we have shared a total of 34 case studies, which include the two examples I have presented in this blog. These case studies–supported by well researched numbers around Capex, Opex, Business and Environmental efficiencies–offer a window into how digital transformation solves various challenges across industries. Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences with digitization in the comments section below.