The Importance of Digital Transformation Support
Digital Transformation initiatives are on the rise in many manufacturing and industrial facilities. Often with so much focus on the design and implementation, one success aspect that is frequently overlooked or forgotten is the long-term support and maintenance. Oftentimes support falls to the individuals or group that traditionally maintain controls assets, whether that’s engineering, maintenance, or a team with a similar background. While these systems have roots in the layer of controls, the support team require an understanding of the new systems and technologies. The underlying skills required to care for these digital data solutions are vastly different.
Understanding where the data is coming from and how to retrieve it are some of the overlapping abilities required. However, Digital Transformation starts to bring in additional technical requirements such as database connectivity, security and querying, networking, ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load), and reporting along with other, different visualization tools. These additional skills are more akin to IT experts and software developers than controls engineers or maintenance technicians. Yet, they are vital in diagnosing and resolving many of the issues that arise.
In addition to technology considerations, there are also different best practices and approaches that need to be considered. Data governance is a very important topic and while it may get created with the initial foray into Digital Transformation, that governance needs to be understood and evolve as new data and systems are added in. Additionally, storage, retention, security, and accessibility need to be managed and maintained which is outside of the normal boundaries of a controls system.
It’s important to consider long-term support and maintenance before you get too far into your Digital Transformation journey. If you don’t have the staff internally, know that you are not alone. Many other manufacturers and industrial facilities struggle with supporting these kinds of systems and turn to experts like Avanceon to help with that support. Since these systems are digitally based, they allow for remote troubleshooting and resolution which makes finding the right support partner a little easier.
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