Discover what strategies industrial organizations are using to improve operations and reliability in 2024
Pulling the Digitalization Thread Into 2024
The industrial operations landscape witnessed a transformative shift in 2023 with the integration of new technologies such as A.I. and robotics. As we enter 2024, the focus on digitalization continues to be the cornerstone of operational excellence strategies, refining the use of innovations introduced in the preceding years. Here we explore the top four digitalization trends shaping operational excellence in 2024.
In a study led by Verdantix on Operational Excellence strategies, only 7% of answered that their operations are , and 32% noting they will be starting digital transformation maintenance, production, and supply chain processes within the next 12 months.
From this we expect to see an increase in how digitalization is supporting organizations to do more with less this year – reducing cost, improving asset reliability, and increasing productivity.
Trends in Objectives:
While concerns around the economic climate may result in budget cuts for other departments and business areas, research done by Verdantix reflects that operational excellence budgets will continue to grow in 2024.
Cutting edge organizations know the value of refining their processes to reduce waste, increase asset availability and optimize their production.
Top Goals for Industrial Organizations in 2024:
As reflected in the Verdantix 2023 Operational Excellence Survey, industrial organizations will be focused on increasing operational excellence in the following ways in the coming year:
- Optimizing production and yield
- Maintaining safety
- Improving supply chain visibility
- Improved asset uptime and reliability
- Decarbonizing plant operations
Organizations will do this through continued digitalization of their operations – refining systems, processes and tools to leverage computer capabilities, resulting in faster, more accurate and more efficient work and decision making.
Below are the top digitalization trends for 2024, which most organizations will focus on to accomplish their operational excellence goals.
Top Four Trends in Digitalization Initiatives for 2024:
Trend #1: Ease of Artificial Intelligence Adoption
In 2024, we will see more organizations utilize Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) to drive continuous improvement as part of their operational excellence strategy. What once felt like an abstract concept of innovation, has now proven itself a more tangible and realistic strategy to drive asset performance and operational productivity.
27% of leadership say they are investing in Artificial Intelligence technology in 2024.** In previous years we saw a lot of growth in the conceptualization and understanding of what exactly artificial intelligence is, what it looks like to implement and what the return on investments are. In 2024 we expect that the ease of accessibility and adoption of A.I. practices will increase.
This year, more organizations will leverage the time and cost savings benefits of A.I., implementing it in small but powerful roles which will reduce the impact on human workforce health and safety concerns, increase efficiency of routine actions, and elevate the human workforce to more complex roles regarding decision making.
The organizations who have a foundational belief in the value of A.I. and are committed to its power will be the cutting-edge organizations who experience the ROI it has to offer as they build and verify remedies and scenarios, and plan, test, and implement them this year.
How Organizations are Implementing Artificial Intelligence in 2024:
- Anomaly detection, identifying irregularities
- Computer vision to monitor assets and processes through images and video
- A.I. forecasting to support predictive analytics
- modeling and simulation
- Natural language processing to improve data discoverability
“Airports are looking for a single pane of glass to understand their operational performance, and to understand how to react quickly to situations. The ability to navigate through complex situations directly impacts customer satisfaction and is critical to their business model. Merging asset and operational performance directly with scenario modeling of people movement and logistics is a ‘holy grail’ of this industry.” –
Greg Hoile, Director of Transportation at Cohesive
Trend #2: Single Source of Truth
71% of respondents in a Verdantix research survey stated the establishment of a single source of truth was a significant data management challenge for their firm. As reflected in the report, and in our work with clients across various industries, a single centralized solution is a priority for industrial organizations in 2024.
A single source of truth from which all business units manage their core processes and data is a solution to many recurring problems as it will:
- Increase collaboration and communication
- Create information transparency and a common understanding of information
- Reduce or remove siloed data and inconsistencies between software architecture and functional requirements
- Streamline processes across business units
- Create consistency and accuracy across businesses with multiple locations
Organizations prioritizing a centralized solution will opt for a robust EAM or APM solution that offers a holistic ecosystem for operations and robust functionality for multiple business units, with the ability to integrate other critical business systems seamlessly.
Case Study – A Single Source of Truth Driving Operational Excellence
In 2023, Con-Edison Electric Corporation went live with the Maximo Application Suite, MAS 8, as a foundational step in their consolidation program, using MAS as the holistic, centralized solution for their operations.
Trend #3: Computer Vision for Visual Inspections
As organizations trend towards digitalizing their businesses to achieve cost, safety, and production targets, there is an increased desire for more real-time data and increased efficiency in routine processes like visual inspections.
Combined with Artificial Intelligence, exploring computer vision (CV) as an alternative for manual visual inspections is a trend on the horizon for 2024.
CV can be adapted to many different environments, even aquatic, and automate routine inspections in a faster way, reducing or eliminating the need for the employee workforce to engage in routine or hazardous inspections.
Replacing routine inspections with CV will reduce the time taken for routine inspections leading to better, faster decisions that support asset availability and safety.
have the power to:
- Detect defects and enhance quality assurance
- Prioritize and action defects according to their severity
- Optimize assembly verification and process efficiencies
- Advance workplace safety through proactive monitoring and hazard identification
- Streamline inventory management and tracking
- Elevate predictive maintenance
Case Study – Sund & Baelt’s Uses CV & A.I. to Maintain One of the World’s Largest Buildings:
“Scanning a bridge can take one day instead of taking a month.” Sund & Baelt works with IBM and the Maximo Application Suite, utilizing drones and artificial intelligence to accelerate deployment, minimize cost, increase safety, and ensure compliance for some of the largest civil infrastructure projects in the world.
Image credit: IBM
Trend #4: Increased use of Reliability Analysis via Asset Performance Management (APM)
83% of executives in the Verdantix study identified cost reduction and efficiency improvement programs as a significant factor in driving the digital transformation of their plant operations.
APM solutions empower businesses to make better decisions that have a positive effect on downtime and expanding the lifecycle of critical assets.
A common theme across the top 2024 trends is acquiring a higher quantity of accurate, real-time data to aid in automation. APM delivers more real-time data, using asset sensors, automation, and predictive maintenance to compare in-service behavior to the intended asset operation, and drive better decision making that impact safety, asset health, and productivity.
We are seeing APM solutions become more accessible for organizations as they are integrated with or into more mainstream solutions used for everyday operations.
Year after year we see organizations striving to reduce cost, increase performance, and maintain safe, compliant operations – it’s how we approach these goals, year after year, that changes. As we increase the ease of adoption and remove barriers of implementation, tools like A.I., centralized data solutions, and intelligent IoT become foundational pillars to realize the benefits of digitalization.
As industries continue to embrace digitization and automation, it is crucial for businesses to stay ahead of the curve and leverage these emerging trends to achieve operational excellence and maintain a competitive edge in the years to come.
** Lamming, J., & Tohani, M. (2023, September). Global corporate survey 2023: Operational excellence budgets, priorities and tech preferences. Verdantix.
*** Henry Kirkman, & Tohani, M. (2023). Strategic focus: Augmenting industrial processes with visual inspection …Verdantix.