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Wednesday, 31 July 2019 12:51

Massive savings, benefits for Australian businesses from digitisation: study

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Digital transformation creates massive savings for businesses with a newly released study showing that digitisation of engineering processes can save businesses and organisations an average of 35% in capex costs and time optimisation – and commissioning costs of new systems and assets can be reduced by an average of 29%.

According to energy management company Schneider Electric its Digital Transformation Benefits Report is the first of its kind to offer up “concrete evidence of the power of digitisation across the spectrum of global commerce” – and demonstrates the power of digital transformation in energy management and automation.

Schneider Electric say the evidence takes the form of 330 data points developed from a sample repository of 230 customer projects it completed in the last five years across 41 countries.

“The evidence presented by the report puts to rest concerns in the market that digital transformation is an expensive capital expenditure proposition involving new systems and difficult integration into existing processes. The customer projects studied in the report demonstrate the opposite,” Schneider Electric claims.

Schneider Electric says the study also reveals that digitisation, by harnessing IoT, can result in significant savings in operational expenditure – leading to step change improvements in efficiency, reliability, safety, and sustainability – with businesses and organisations reporting an average savings of 24% in energy consumption, as a result of digitisation.

“In Industrial applications, digital transformation allows businesses to do more with less — more yield with less energy, fewer materials, and fewer labour hours,” Neil Smith, VP of Industry at Schneider Electric says.

“Increased productivity, up to 50%, results from energy management and automation efficiencies across the value chain, from IoT-enabled tracking to automated production lines.”

“Digital transformation is the only way of delivering consistency and efficiency across a company. Technologies such as the Internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence and big data analytics are making companies more efficient and innovative, boosting their competitive advantage,” said Gareth O’Reilly, Country President at Schneider Electric.

“This report indicates that many businesses and organisations need a trusted authority to manage this complexity to unlock the full potential of digital transformation.”

According to Schneider Electric one industry set to feel the benefits of digital transformation is agriculture.

Agriculture accounts for nearly 70% of the world’s water consumption, Schneider Electric says, and by 2050 it is predicted that water demand will need to increase by 55% to support the food requirements of a growing global population.

Schneider Electric cites WaterForce, a leader in sustainable water solutions, which wanted to address the growing demand for water with a sophisticated but easy-to-use, cloud-based water management solution that leveraged the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to monitor and control geographically isolated assets.

“To meet this increasing need for effective irrigation, WaterForce developed SCADAfarm – an integrated automation and information management platform built on EcoStruxure Industry and Microsoft Azure technologies,” Schneider Electric notes.

“Built on Azure IoT, Schneider Electric allows us to collect and analyse the data needed to deliver the insights our customers require to stay competitive,” said Ron McFetridge, Director, WaterForce.

“The implementation of SCADAfarm has increased control and visibility over operations, with farmers reporting up to 50% energy savings in the first season.

“To allow farmers to optimise the amount of water used, weather forecasts are integrated to enable on-the-fly adjustments to the irrigators. Remote monitoring functionalities also mean that farmers save significant time that would otherwise be used to travel and inspect assets on site.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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