We are globally making the transition from the knowledge age to the digital age.
In doing so, over time, all organisations will have to become what is called predictive in nature. In essence, they will not be able to carry on as usual outside a digital framework.
The mining industry, in particular, has been slow to take part in this migration and has a great deal of catching up to do. This may, however, benefit the sector if it leapfrogs into the digital age via limited retrofitting based on the experiences of other industries.
Such fundamental building blocks could be of great use in the transformation process. Key among these in the predictive organisational layer model is the interlink layer. Its core function is to connect things.
Here, the mining industry can learn from the banking sector. About 15 years ago, the African banking industry faced similar concerns regarding an interlink layer between branches and head offices (migrating from modems to leased lines) to provide real-time digital connectivity.
SA has some of the world’s deepest mines, which means that for them to become digital mines, they will require kilometres of network coverage.
Similarly to the banking sector, which had to cover an entire country, the mining sector therefore faces a massive task when plotting its digital migration, and should learn from the banks.
The banking sector’s decision to invest in digitisation wasn’t taken lightly, and this should be no different for the mining industry. It has to understand the digital migration process in great detail before embarking on it.
For example, the network coverage or data pipes servicing the mining sector should be seen as another utility, like electricity and water, in which mines invest over their entire lifespan. Sadly, due to a lack of uptake during the knowledge age, little to no investment has been made in this regard.
Huawei can provide mining organisations with the interlink function. Forty-five of the top 50 telecommunications companies across the globe use Huawei’s technology within their own networks. The company therefore has a proven track record in providing technology that links together all functions within organisations.