Digital transformation; a Journey, not a Destination
It seems not a day goes by without receiving unsolicited emails offering an agile digital transformation nirvana – how they beat spam filters is possibly a testimony to the sender’s digital ability (so maybe we should read their proposals…)!
The cynic in us usually intervenes in such cold calling and our better sense tells us that no one knows our businesses like we do and our snap, ‘delete-before-reading’ decisions are more often than not the right ones; the buck stops with us. If we want change (of any kind), we must identity and address it ourselves.
If we need change, there are a few primary questions that we need to ask ourselves; what we aim to change, why we need or want it, who will benefit from the change and the final, and possibly the most important question, how we plan to make the change; this output is our Roadmap.
Even with all of these questions answered and a robust roadmap landed on, there is no guarantee of success. According to a recent survey, 70% of digital transformation initiatives fail to meet their goals (and alarmingly, 30% of these initiatives result in a loss of revenue for the organisation implementing change). Who’d want to be a decision maker with those stacked odds?
The fact is we live in a digital age and leveraging digital technology is a fundamental business need - those who wish to remain analogue are left in a long wake with others already digitally invested in the far distance; video may have killed the radio star back in 1979 but digitalisation didn’t do anyone any harm, so why not embrace it?
CAN Group’s own digital journey is an integral part of its business DNA. The asset integrity and inspection arena is an exemplar of what can be achieved when embracing digital technology. From the early days of data logging inspection results, to the use of digital twin technology to plan and execute work scopes in a more productive and cost-efficient manner, CAN is invested. It is important, however, to acknowledge that any transformation is a journey and not a ‘One and Done’ event, much more an evolution process which is CAN’s modus operandi. To follow are a couple of recent examples of pushing the digital transformation envelope:
Artificial Intelligence Corrosion Detection
A key aspect of digital transformation is process improvement through the adoption of new technologies. As part of the drive to optimise inspection deliverables (and cost), CAN Group has developed a solution for visual inspections to be conducted at speeds which are unobtainable through traditional rope access techniques, by utilising high resolution imagery captured by its Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Accurate 3D models of entire assets are quickly generated from the image data, providing our clients with a tool that enables them to make fast and well-informed decisions on specific integrity threats, as well as generating cost efficiencies and overall safer operations.
Building on this capability through partnerships with industry-leading technology providers, as well as with smaller academic research institutions, CAN has been developing Artificial Intelligence corrosion detection solutions to further accelerate the inspection process. Deep learning models such as convolutional neural networks are being used to analyse large volumes of data almost instantaneously. Data accumulated over multiple inspection campaigns will eventually lead to a mature model capable of fully automating the data analysis and reporting work flow. Whether it be Artificial or Human Intelligence driven, CAN are actively innovating and improving the inspection process.
Tablet Reporting & Digital Workpack Generation
Adopting Tablet-based Reporting has been a shared goal for many Operators over the last 10 years, but the challenge in ensuring this tool is a success has been determining how to fully integrate this technology with the overall Integrity Management process. This has been realised by the combination of CAN Group proprietary systems, CANtab and ENGAGE; producing digital workpacks in the ENGAGE Workpack module which are synced to the tablets and available immediately to the inspector offshore.
The real win, however, is in the reduction of manual data handling. Gone are the days of hard copy workpacks collecting dust on a desk offshore, awaiting completion and review before being ‘choppered’ back to the beach for manual data entry. This was another pinch point which ultimately added to the potential “hidden threat” contained within inspection reports, slowly working their way through the mill before eventually being input and reviewed, along with any Anomalies raised, sometimes months after the fact. With Tablet Reporting, an electronic report is generated as soon as the data is entered on the tablet and with the push of a button at the end of the shift, the digital report is available for onshore to review and approval – ensuring that anomalies are raised in real time. This eliminates manual data entry, freeing up valuable resource and increasing the efficiency of the overall process, with a clear and traceable digital workflow – a key example of how digitalisation of core processes can deliver very real and tangible added value.
Whatever your business and whatever your digital transformation roadmap may look like, treat it as a journey. If you find yourself on the wrong road or have hit a dead-end, don’t blame the Satnav, blame the driver (and if you have a co-driver, they can share the blame) but remember, you can always put the brakes on and reroute to get back on the right track (consider the 70% failure metric - even if you hope you might arrive trust your instinct, otherwise you will probably end up further away).
If your digital roadmap is focussed on Asset Integrity Assurance and Plant Reliability, CAN Group has a suite of tried and tested digital systems that will help ensure that you are heading in the right direction; avoiding the 70% & 30% potholes.
Image reference - (iStock.com/Ket4up)