When the pandemic struck, many organisations were caught unprepared.
For everyone, the initial concern was health and safety — making sure that measures were put in place to curb the spread of the disease. This led to a huge drive to get people out of crowded offices and working remotely from home. Within the natural resources sector however, there were additional challenges — how do people work remotely at an oil rig? Or socially distance in a mine? Coming to grips with these challenges impacted production significantly across mining, oil and gas and petro-chemicals.
Priorities are changing and the pace is increasing
Finding solutions to these challenges was a key priority within the sector. Luckily, from collaboration tools to digital workplace technologies and even ambitious smart mine concepts, many organisations already had significant transformation maps in place before the virus struck. These also typically included incorporating infrastructure like SD-WAN, cloud and innovative network services as part of one to five-year business plans. Once coronavirus restrictions began to impact businesses, it became vital to speed up these plans in the short-term, accelerating rollouts to months rather than years.
The result of this acceleration is that mining, engineering and petro-chemicals have all begun introducing new, urgent priorities — turning to focus on a number of Industry 4.0, IoT and wearable device solutions to step-up productivity. One mining company, for example, has already begun a pilot whereby all miners are provided with a smart watch to monitor social distancing. These devices are revolutionising health and safety, as well as assisting with coronavirus-related measures. Through such devices, it’s possible to ensure miners are sufficiently distanced from one another and also to monitor individuals’ temperatures in case of fever. In addition, wearable devices are creating in-roads into other data that can be collected and acted on from within the mine deep into the ground. With unprecedented insights into processes and efficiency, it’s projects like these that are going to mark out the successful post-coronavirus companies.
Shaping an end-to-end solution that’s built to last
The pressure is mounting for a network solution that’s more digital, globally distributed and data focussed. Not to mention more efficient and cost-effective.
New software-defined services, cloud capability and network options are an excellent starting point for creating the secure, dynamic network the natural resources industry needs. One that’s agile enough to adapt as new business models develop. Some companies, for example, have transformed to 100 per cent internet, tripling the speed of their bandwidth and incorporating SD-WAN in a secure way with a good service wrap. These changes have not only enhanced the performance of applications, but also led to significant cost saving.
Another vital aspect of the network is security, and it’s imperative that fast-paced technology adoption doesn’t impact negatively on security posture. As the world moves to greater remote access, our focus is increasingly on securing the client’s environment, while at the same time ensuring sufficient coverage. It’s something we’re developing constantly, so that it doesn’t hinder digital transformation for the customers we work with across natural resources and other sectors.
Drawing on SD-WAN, secure connectivity, and blending your optimised network with the right combination of cloud services, it’s possible to better connect your sites and your people, providing greater insights and helping to streamline processes. Analytics, automation, portals, machine learning and AI can give new data insight and control, helping to make better business decisions.
It takes more than tech to shape a global network
Technology alone is not the answer. For digital transformation to be truly successful, natural resources organisations also need an infrastructure with the right security, service and management.
We have a wealth of experience in network transformations and in developing software-defined solutions. We’ve delivered thousands of solutions globally with our ever-increasing choice of secure services and solutions. During the pandemic, we helped customers across every sector extend bandwidth to support the move to homeworking securely – often in a matter of hours.
Our approach means that multiple technologies and legacy systems can be easily managed to create a single, secure global network infrastructure for businesses. Through our broad portfolio of solutions, we can easily integrate with the collaboration applications, data and third-party cloud providers you need globally. Then our end-to-end management of the entire environment simplifies operations, improves user experience, provides valuable insight to deliver better services to their customers.
Most importantly, we’re constantly updating our solutions, so as you move into a software-defined world, your solution is guaranteed to evolve with you.
Get in touch or read ‘Shape your future infrastructure: A proposal’ for more detailed information on how we can guide your transformation