Digital Transformation = Business Transformation


Peter Zornio, Chief Technology Officer, Emerson Automation Solutions 

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has quickly moved past “hype” and is on a solid path toward accelerating overall business improvement for oil and gas, refining, petrochemical, life sciences, food and beverage and other industries.

A pioneer in developing digital technologies and engineering services for the manufacturing sector, Emerson has expanded its IIoT portfolio, called the Plantweb™ digital ecosystem, to include not only a broad sensor network and cybersecurity tools, but also software applications, data analytics,  and IIoT-related services designed to improve reliability, energy use, safety and overall operations.

After decades of helping customers around the world implement digital strategies on some of the largest and most complex industrial facilities, Emerson has found that a digital transformation strategy must begin with a clear business case - identifying key areas that need improvement, ranging from boosting production efficiencies to lowering maintenance costs, to preventing unplanned downtime or reducing energy costs. With this approach, Emerson helps companies focus on targeted opportunities and implement digital transformation strategies in a scalable way, with defined, measurable goals. The goal is to help them be Top Quartile performers – achieving operations and capital performance in the top 25 percent of peer companies.

While IIoT is often focused on technologies, Emerson has found that companies often overlook the people and culture change required to support this digital transformation. Strict adherence to cultural legacies and “the ways things have always been done” is challenging and can halt innovation if not addressed. Emerson has identified five critical competencies for successful digital transformation: automated workflows, mobility, decision support, change management and workforce upskilling.

Emerson’s Operational Certainty Consulting Group helps companies put new processes in place, identify workflows that can be automated – freeing up people to focus on more valuable tasks – and implement technologies that put the right information into the right hands at the right time. In some cases, thanks to IIoT, this data is securely outsourced to third-party experts like Emerson, that will provide the analysis and recommended actions to improve operational performance.

Industry is at a critical inflection point: Efficiency-focused operational improvements have reached a point of diminishing returns and personnel are being asked to achieve more with less than ever before. In the next era of manufacturing, industrial companies that embrace digital transformation will accelerate, institutionalise and sustain top-performing practices that significantly impact the bottom line.

See how Emerson helps customers leverage the Plantweb™ digital ecosystem to drive digital transformation.