Digitization in the mining industry remains the topic of much discussion…and much confusion! In fact, I just returned from a trip to China where I heard people say, “We don’t know what it is, but we have to do it!” I’m not trying to pick on the Chinese either as there are plenty of examples from all over the world. And I know, because I have heard similar versions of this statement in many other countries as well.
As a vendor, one of the biggest surprises then is when we hear from a client who is very clear on their needs and has thought through their ROI, change management, people issues and functional requirements.
How to get to that point, though, is the question. Rob Wijnberg is a Dutch philosopher who, when working as an editor of a major newspaper in the Netherlands, realized that the traditional newspaper sections like “Local News”, “International News” etc. were obsolete. He re-organized the paper into 3 sections, Know, Think and Do.
The point is, digitization, as wildly popular of a topic as it may be, is still greatly misunderstood and there is a need to go through this natural progression for change of “Know, Think, & Do” in order to effect a change toward digitization in your organization.
So here are the sources of information I like for each one.
KNOW: What is happening (mainly technology and product focussed)
- Trade press like Automation.com
- Industry analysts like ARC
- Digitization focussed Industry groups like MESA (not mining, but lots of info on other industries)
These will allow you to get the feeling of what is happening.
THINK: Grapple with the ideas and functions from a professional standpoint
- Professional bodies like the IChemE Mining & Minerals Special Interest Group
- Industry working groups like the Global Mining Standards and Guidelines
It’s sometimes a bit of “paralysis by analysis” in these types of groups, but you really get to think through the real-world challenges.
DO: How to actually move ahead
- Vendor user groups like the Schneider Electric Software Innovation Summit
These events provide lots of successful case studies, and you can normally talk frankly to people at these types of events about what worked, what didn’t, and what were the success factors.
Hope that helps! There is still time to attend this year’s Schneider Electric Software Innovation Summit! And if you can’t make it, click here to learn more about transforming your mining, minerals and metals.