On the second day of the ICSOBA2023 conference the topics of IoT, AI and Digital Transformation came up throughout the entire day, from paper presentations to general keynote sessions.

At the beginning of this year I wrote an article about EGA’s partnership with Microsoft. Yesterday, I finally managed to obtain a deeper insight of what this partnership entails: Microsoft will closely support EGA with the design of a digital infrastructure that will support their digital transformation. I believe that EGA is in good hands and that they will achieve building a strong digital foundation to support their digital use cases.

In my humble opinion however, the real challenge lies in the required cultural change in the way we look at data. I hope that one day we can see data being “as important as aluminium”. By this I mean that we build our processes around it - and then forget about its existence, at least in day-to-day operations.

Similarly to what happened with automation: without our automated machines our factories don’t run - they are the backbone of production and are therefore just as important as the actual product (aluminium). But production engineers don’t think about automation on a daily basis: they know it’s there and takes care of repetitive labor so that they can focus their minds on creative work machines can’t do.