1660240352919 Crystalballcover9

Current economic pressure as catalyst & commitment to digital transformation

Jan. 21, 2021
There is a renewed emphasis on remote connectivity to equipment.

By Josh Eastburn, Opto 22 director of technical marketing

Find more predictions in our 2021 Crystal Ball Report. Click the cover to get your copy.

2020 has been a catalyst for many companies to commit to a digital-transformation initiative. And 2021 will see increased investment in related technologies such as data acquisition and analytics, cloud computing, IoT platform software, and cybersecurity. 

In the short term, users are seeking ways to maintain pace in spite of current economic pressures. However, they are doing it with a long-term vision of developing data-centric infrastructure that generates insights into potential process improvements, increases in operating equipment effectiveness (OEE), and better maintenance of machines. 

The financial pressure to maintain this kind of competitive edge is higher than ever. You’re likely well aware of this. 

With the shift to remote work, there is also a renewed emphasis on remote connectivity to equipment with a keen focus on cybersecurity, without which some equipment is no longer securely accessible.

We expect that users will turn more and more to edge-oriented technologies to achieve this kind of integration. While existing automation technologies are mature and functional, users often prefer to avoid the downtime (both expected and unexpected) required to modify, test and recommission legacy code or to upgrade field hardware directly. It’s easier for users to layer on newer, connected devices that can harvest data from old and new systems alike. 

This approach provides the computing power needed to process operations data locally, combine it with other data sources, and transport it into supporting systems while minimizing modifications to existing automation.