Blog about how oil is no longer our most valuable resource and how data, big data and analytics is paving the way

Has data overtaken oil as our biggest energy resource?

Kimberley Wellen, Senior Account Manager at FMC Global Talent.
Kimberley Wellen, Senior Account Manager at FMC Global Talent.

Data is Digital Plant’s most valuable resource. It’s more important than oil itself. Unlocking, understanding and harnessing the power of data is the future of the industrial sector.

Quite simply, data is allowing energy providers to produce more energy more effectively and is widely regarded as “the oil of the digital era”.

On the flip side, data now poses the biggest threat to countries and their energy infrastructure. Data is both the future and potential downfall for long-term growth in the Digital Plant industry.

How has data gone from an inconvenience to our most valuable resource? What is the future of data? Most importantly, why is data now the biggest threat to the energy sector?

Harvesting data

The digital revolution bases itself upon a range of digital tools which allow users to analyse, report and utilise datasets. This includes asset performance management (APM), predictive analytics, digital twins, blockchain, supply chain management and many more.

Foreseeing asset downtime, increasing asset performance and reducing costs are just a handful of benefits being provided by effective data harvesting and optimisation.

Sharing data

Joanna Hubbard of blockchain company Electron claims that “if the first energy revolution was clean energy, the second energy revolution is shared data structures”, and she’s completely right. Here’s why:

Data security

Utilising data with operational technology has digitally transformed the plant sector. Without realising however, the industrial sector is now completely exposed to cyber-attacks.

94% of the UK energy sector experienced an increase in the level of security breaches during the past five years despite over £1bn being invested in cybersecurity solutions. The threat of a nuclear, power or chemical plant being compromised by cyber criminals is very real.

Utilising, moving or storing data securely is currently at the forefront of concern and could prove a real barrier to growth for the industry.

Data skills

The plant industry is in desperate need of increased training and education, such as those being delivered by Siemens Canada, to ensure data is being handled, secured and leveraged appropriately to excel digital transformation.

Specific domain and data skills such as those found in Digital Plant are difficult to come by. Take APM for example… how many industry professionals possess the necessary data skills to advance, improve and refine digital technology? Not many.

Current pools of talent who possess these skills often demand extraordinary contractual requirements to secure their services and businesses will fight hard to counter external offers.

FMC Digital Plant

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