Enterprise Singapore and the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business (APA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support enterprise development through industrial and digital transformation in sectors of common interest, including advanced manufacturing, digitalisation and innovation, medical technology and healthcare, and future of mobility.
Under the MOU, Enterprise Singapore and APA will co-organise the refreshed Germany Singapore Business Forum Connect which will feature sector-specific events held throughout the year to facilitate more frequent collaborations between German and Singapore companies.
Mr Peter Ong, Chairman of Enterprise Singapore and Co-Chair of GSBF Connect, said, “In this changing business environment, our enterprises need to connect with one another in more and better ways. Germany and Singapore are trusted partners who place a high emphasis on delivering quality and innovative products and services. The MOU between Enterprise Singapore and APA will cement this commitment to help our companies collaborate and leverage each other’s strengths. I look forward to forging new partnerships with Germany, and welcoming our German friends and partners to join us for the upcoming series of GSBF Connect events.”
Partnerships between Singapore and German companies are expected to grow as both countries deepen business ties through a suite of initiatives. In the last four years alone, the Germany Singapore Business Forum (GSBF) has brought together more than 400 German and Singapore companies.
Platforms such as the GSBF have raised interest amongst Singapore companies to explore opportunities in
Germany, as reflected in the number of business missions to Germany led by Enterprise Singapore which has almost doubled on a year-on-year basis.
The number of business missions to Germany increased from 13 in 2018 to 22 in 2019, benefitting over 150 companies in 2019, across sectors including advanced manufacturing, medical technology and healthcare, future of mobility, and e-sports.
Prof. Axel Stepken, Chairman of the Management Board TÜV SÜD AG and Co-Chair of GSBF Connect, said, “Singapore is attractive to German companies in several ways – as a proven long-term partner with whom new technologies and innovative business models can be developed, but also as an experienced bridge builder into the emerging ASEAN region.
“Singapore has a strong record as a leading R&D hub and digital trendsetter, while German companies are known for their ability to manufacture state-of-the-art machinery and products. I still see many fields and sectors in which we can bring our specific strengths together. With the GSBF Connect, we want to make a relevant contribution to realize these untapped potentials.”
The first edition of GSBF Connect, dedicated to the manufacturing sector, will be held virtually during Industrial Transformation ASIA-PACIFIC 20203 on 21 October. A second edition of GSBF Connect will be held during the Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology on 9 December 2020.
Singapore and German SMEs have collaborated in co-innovation projects under the Germany-Singapore SME Funding Programme, jointly managed by Enterprise Singapore, and AiF Projekt GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
A new partnership between Singapore Polytechnic, German testing, inspection and certification company TÜV SÜD, industrial automation leader Delta Electronics and Singapore’s Smart I4.0 Transformation Alliance (SiTA) was announced on 14 October 2020.
As the world has entered an age of digitalisation, digital government, data governance, and strengthening of national development momentum have become the trend of governments of all countries, including Taiwan.
The concept of digital government refers to improving the government’s service to the people and enterprises by data and digital technology. Taiwan’s government uses data as the basis, makes good use of digital technology, strengthens government efficiency and national security, and combines government services with people’s needs to optimise the quality of governance decision-making.
Looking at the development trend of digital governments in advanced countries, the role of information and communication technology in Taiwan’s public governance has evolved from the early management of public affairs to the current innovative governance efficiency, and will gradually change to the development goal of creating public service value in the future. The use of emerging technologies to optimise the government service process, innovate the service style for the people, and meet the needs of the people has become the direction of continuous promotion of digital government.
Taiwan plans a state-level transformation strategy for the development of Taiwan’s government, industry, talent, and society. The National Development Council (NDC) has formulated the “Digital Government Program 2.0 of Taiwan (2020-2025)” to accelerate various response measures to promote the government’s digital transformation.
NDC will follow the strategy of the plan to coordinate the implementation of various ministries, strengthen the transformation of cross-domain service processes from the needs of the people, and use a safe and reliable data transmission platform to share data across agencies. The government will continue to offer its efforts in the following tasks:
- Enhance digital infrastructure around all government agency: With the maturity of Internet technology and the popularisation and application of 5G wireless broadband communications, we will continue to inject resources to strengthen the digital infrastructure and support the government’s innovative service operations.
- Strengthen the release and application of data: NDC will actively promote the data management measures of public agencies, give priority to strengthening data standards, data interface standards, etc., and attach importance to the release of high-value data, such as map information, transportation and other data sets. It is necessary to establish a management mechanism for the public to apply to use and specify the rights and obligations of the use of data.
- Implement evidence-based governance decisions: The digital transformation of the government is demonstrated in the policy decision-making of using data to improve the efficiency of government governance. In the future, the applications of big data analysis in governance issues will be made to quickly respond to external challenges.
- Construct data-based public governance: Through data analysis to see the needs of the people, and integrate government resources to support the people in solving problems of life, and take the initiative to propose measures for the people. In the future, digital applications will use data to drive service transformation, making data the core of services.
Apart from formulating a digital government programme, NDC has also formulated the Action Plan for Enhancing Taiwan’s Startup Ecosystem. As reported by OpenGov Asia, Taiwan’s startup ecosystem has blossomed over the last few years, with good performance in the international arena. The good performance is partly because of the Taiwan government’s effort in pushing forward policies of innovation and entrepreneurship in recent years.
NDC proposes 5 major policies:
- Providing ample early-stage funding for startups
- Developing talent and adjusting regulations
- Building partnership between startups and the government
- Providing startups with various exit channels
- Helping startups tap into global markets
By putting this plan into action, they can effectively create an environment favourable to startups. To do this effectively, all agencies involved need to take initiative to implement this plan to demonstrate the government’s commitment and capability.
The most efficient approach to process data in digital business is to bring computing power closer to the object or person generating it. The need for localised processing power is addressed by edge computing systems. Leaders in IT infrastructure and operations (I&O) who are in control of these solutions should be aware of the associated business value and risks.
A new edge solution developed has a scalable and flexible solution for managing hardware nodes and the edge applications that operate on them. It was built on a foundation of innovative open technologies and created by edge and OT experts to deal with the unique aspects of edge management. During the development phase of the product, the edge software company claims to have worked with a number of key partners and potential customers to ensure the solution satisfies the market opportunity.
The challenge of maintaining these edge infrastructures becomes more crucial as the number of industrial IoT devices and the data produced develops at a rapid rate. Edge scale, intermittent connectivity, device/sensor connections, legacy platforms, and resource constraints can cause problems for traditional cloud or IT-based management solutions.
According to the edge software company, the problem is multi-dimensional in scope and includes both the provisioning and management of the edge nodes and also the application workloads deployed on the nodes. While other key issues include dealing with aged and heterogeneous infrastructure (legacy equipment, brownfield nodes, and devices), and the fact that the OT lifecycle is often measured in decades, not years.
The controller, which can be hosted on-premise or in the cloud, is used to administer the edge systems. Users benefit from platform independence for both managed nodes and the cloud environment in which the controller is deployed. Designed to meet the specific needs of edge systems, it provides light-touch provisioning and complete lifecycle management for both edge nodes and their applications. It currently enables the deployment and management of containerised applications at the edge, and it will support native binary apps in the future.
Edge systems are managed from a centralised controller that can be hosted either on-premise or in the cloud. Platform independence for both the managed nodes and the cloud environment on which the controller is deployed ensures flexibility and choice for users. The real question here is, how will edge computing add value to help companies keep pace with emerging technologies and digital transformation?
Industry 4.0 and digital transformation is certainly driving the revolution at the edge. A recent report stated that by 2025, 75% of the data will be created and processed at the edge outside of the data centre and in the cloud. This is a massive growth from just 10% in 2018 — a huge turnaround in processing data outside the data centres and cloud and moving it to the edge.
Edge computing can assist companies with tasks that aren’t able to achieve in the cloud software. When it comes to low latency, connectivity, security or privacy, and transmitted data volume challenges, there are some apparent benefits, and neither companies nor consumers want to deal with the consequences of interrupted services.
In our new, somewhat distant, connected world, distributed cloud and edge architectures will increase data processing speed, reduce time lag, enable technologies and support the exponential growth of IoT and Autonomous Things such as mobile robots or self-driving vehicles.
The opportunities for edge computing to enhance operations and services are vast. Consequently, it is currently at the forefront of IT decision making and fast becoming a growing market.
Under an initial 12-month pilot, Singapore’s 3rd largest bank confirmed that they had launched a programme allowing customers to sign electronic documents using the Singpass app. The bank said it will first test the use of electronic signature services with a set of its retail and corporate customers.
Some of the transactions the pilot will cover include forms for individual wealth planning services and other corporate applications. After the pilot ends, the service will extend to more of its products and services for retail and wholesale segments in Singapore.
The bank also plans to expand its electronic signature capability to the ASEAN region from 2022. Once rolled out across all markets, electronic signatures will cut down the use of more than 2 million paper forms a year, said the bank. This is in line with the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s green fintech push in recent months. For markets without a national digital identity platform, the bank will use electronic signatures and authenticate the customer through two-factor authentication.
The bank said it is the first in Singapore to pilot the use of the Government Technology Agency’s “Sign with Singpass” to confirm transactions or product applications using a customer’s digital signature. The digital signature is identifiable and uniquely linked to the person who signs. During the digital signing process, only a cryptographically random, indecipherable code will be shared with the bank’s document management platform to confirm that the customer has signed the document, thus ensuring the confidentiality of personal data, the bank added.
As reported by OpenGov Asia, since November last year, SingPass users can use the new “Sign with SingPass” feature to electronically sign contracts, agreements and other legal documentation. This feature will be progressively rolled out by GovTech’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Assurity Trusted Solutions Pte Ltd (ATS), in collaboration with eight digital signing application providers.
The signed document is platform agnostic, such that the validated signature can be viewed with the user’s preferred system. Digital signatures made with “Sign with SingPass” use certificates issued by ATS, the National Certification Authority. Upon ATS’ accreditation under Singapore’s Electronic Transactions Act, signatures made using “Sign with SingPass” will be regarded as secure electronic signatures.
The bank’s head of group technology and operations said that as more customers take to the convenience of managing their banking needs online, banks must ensure that they offer them a seamless and safe digital experience. She added that in 2018, they were the first bank in Singapore to digitalise all consumer banking product applications. Today, they are aiming to build on earlier efforts with their digital signature initiative. The initiative will not only increase the convenience for the customers but also remove one of the roadblocks – the need for physical signatures – in fully digitalising the documentation process.
The Senior Director for National Digital Identity of GovTech said that they are delighted that a bank will be piloting “Sign with Singpass” for its suite of digital services. The bank’s integration of “Sign with Singpass” is a significant step towards offering a more secure and efficient process for customers. The agency affirmed that it would continue to work with industry partners to build more beneficial services and establish new digitally enabled ways of doing business.
Today, SingPass has evolved to provide seamless and convenient access to over 1,000 digital services offered by some 250 government agencies and private organisations. There are now over 2.1 million users of the SingPass Mobile app since its launch.
U.S. programmers further developed their ai enabled housing solution, an application to help automate Dallas-Fort Worth’s Section 8 voucher program. The app uses Artificial Intelligence (AI), and automation to help voucher holders find rental units, property owners complete contracting and housing authorities conduct inspections. The software and mobile app were released in partnership with the Dallas Housing Authority, which gave access to data from some 16,000 Section 8 voucher holders.
AI has been used in a host of algorithms in medicine, banking and other major industries. But as it has proliferated, studies have shown that AI can be biased against minorities. In housing, AI has helped perpetuate segregation and discrimination. The creators of the app were worried that the AI would promote bias, so they tweaked it so that tenants could search for apartments using their voucher number alone, without providing any other identifying information.
As AI is adopted by more industries and government agencies, U.S. lawmakers want to strengthen and update laws to guard against racially discriminatory algorithms – especially in the absence of federal rules. Since 2019, more than 100 bills related to AI and automated decision systems have been introduced in nearly two dozen states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. This year, lawmakers in at least 16 states proposed creating panels to review AI’s impact, promote public and private investment in AI, or address transparency and fairness in AI development.
A bill in California would be the first to require developers to evaluate the privacy and security risks of their software, as well as assess their products’ potential to generate inaccurate, unfair, biased or discriminatory decisions. Under the proposed law, the California Department of Technology would have to approve software before it could be used in the public sector.
A lawyer described algorithms such as the ai app as a gatekeeper to an opportunity that can either perpetuate segregation and redlining or help to end them. He also praised the developers for their decision to omit a person’s name. However, the government cannot rely on small groups of people making decisions that can essentially affect thousands. The government needs to audit these systems to ensure they are integrating equity metrics in ways that do not unfairly disadvantage people.
The app’s developers are sure it would pass any state-mandated test for algorithmic discrimination and it has already been a huge success in Dallas and beyond. The Dallas Housing Authority has used the app to cut the average wait time for an apartment inspection from 15 days to one. Since its launch, Dallas and more than a dozen other housing agencies have added some 20,000 Section 8 units from landlords who were not participating in the program because of the long inspection wait times.
Dallas Housing Authority partnered with the developers to come up with some technology advancements to their workflows and automation so that they could respond in a more timely manner to business partners. The housing authority wanted to ensure that their partners the dealy as a lost lead in terms of working with the voucher program.
The real promise of AI in the housing space is that it may eventually produce greater fairness and equity in ways that we may not have possible before. Lawmakers are keen to make sure that the biases of the analogue world are not repeated in the AI and machine-learning world.
U.S. researchers have been creating AI for a multitude of purposes, such as an AI that can have free-flowing conversations. As reported by OpenGov Asia, the newest conversational artificial intelligence (AI) model, called Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA) aims to replace artificial, robotic conversations with AI, with more natural dialogues. LaMDA can engage a conversation in a free-flowing way about a seemingly endless number of topics. It is an ability that could unlock more natural ways of interacting with technology and entirely new categories of helpful applications.
The researchers are developing several qualities in LaMDA, including sensibleness, specificity, “interestingness” by assessing whether responses are insightful, unexpected or witty. They also want LaMDA to stick to facts and are investigating ways to ensure LaMDA’s responses are not just compelling but correct.
An AI company in New Zealand recently announced the launch of its new digital platform, an AI-powered end-to-end solution designed to help organisations manage the delivery of software-driven business outcomes. It includes AI-powered analytics, deeper insights into value streams, release management, risk management, and software delivery predictability, as well as pre-built, smart integrations for a variety of solutions that connect the entire lifecycle and provide visibility and automation.
The platform gathers data from all phases of the software development lifecycle to establish a strong data repository that has all of the information needed to acquire important financial insights and enable intelligent orchestration. With these capabilities, the platform enables enterprises to continuously and intelligently improve the entire development value stream, from ideation to customer delivery.
It provides end-to-end visibility and forward-looking analytics, allowing businesses to align software development teams with strategic business goals and truly leverage technology and data to make better business decisions. Businesses can transform traditional project teams, which are often structured around and focused on outputs and features, into cross-functional value stream teams, which are structured around customer-centric value, using Value Stream Management (VSM) and the Digital.ai Platform.
A forum on artificial intelligence identified key AI opportunities in the public, private and education sectors that New Zealand can invest in now to actively shape the effects on its collective future. Adopting Artificial Intelligence helps sectors from education to healthcare to citizen services to continuously adapt to market changes and customer needs and predict deliver better outcomes and services. Organisations and agencies can fully grasp the value of digitalisation, create higher efficiencies and boost productivity by leveraging artificial intelligence that scales operations in ways that humans cannot.
OpenGov Asia recently reported that New Zealand is set to adopt the world’s first Kiwi Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered insight generator system that aims to deliver richer, more accurate insights faster than ever before. The tech is an AI-powered super engine, revolutionising the speed and efficiency by which data is transformed into rich insightful knowledge. Comprised of AI tools and algorithms, the New Zealand-made market research insights product allows businesses to save hours in data analysis, dramatically improving productivity and allowing them to use their data smarter.
More than 1,200 enterprises around the world have accelerated their digital transformation initiatives, improved business outcomes and RoI from software investments, increased operational efficiency, and reduced risk with the Digital.ai Platform and associated solutions. Research indicates the global conversational AI platform market size is anticipated to grow from $4 billion in 2019 to $17 billion by 2025.
Artificial intelligence is now playing a critical role within the wider community in terms of enhancing efficiency and productivity, according to recent releases. It is the present and future efficiency driver for business and services around the world; one that is backed up by massive global investments. A report estimates that investment in AI, along with machine learning and robotic process automation technology, is set to reach $232 billion by 2025.
As businesses look for unique ways to capture the hearts and minds of consumers in the present contactless customer environment, robots, digital entities and virtual assistants are gaining ground. Currently, digital humans are already being deployed as brand ambassadors, digital influencers, customer support representatives and advisors across the entertainment, finance, banking, gaming, talent development and recruiting and health care industries.
Research collaboration on geotechnical structures in hydraulic engineering and another one on video coding technology developed at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) have won major Ministry of Education awards.
The two projects took home the 2020 First Class and Second Class Awards, respectively, in the Natural Science category at the Higher Education Outstanding Scientific Research Output Awards (Science and Technology).
Winning the First Class Award was the project “Uncertainty Analysis and Reliability Control of Geotechnical Structures in Hydraulic Engineering” by Professor Wang Yu of the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering and his team.
The research team focuses on the study of reliability and safety of dams and reservoirs, with particular reference to the many structures related to water conservation and hydroelectric engineering, collectively termed hydraulic structures, in mainland China. After more than 10 years’ hard work, the team has developed quantitative and highly efficient characterisation and simulation methods for uncertainty in subsurface rocks and soils.
By assessing the impact of these geotechnical uncertainties on hydraulic structures, they have established standards and design method for improving the safety and reliability of those structures. Their research offers new theories and methods for uncertainty analysis and reliability control. In addition, they have provided the theoretical basis and technological support for related evaluation, design and safety control.
Five representative academic papers produced by their project have been highly cited in the Web of Science Core Collection, and the findings are highly regarded by eminent scholars around the world, winning Sloan Outstanding Paper Award from the international journal Computers and Geotechnics and the Best Paper Award from Georisk.
Members of the collaborative research team include Professor Li Dianqing, Professor Cao Zijun and Professor Tang Xiaosong from Wuhan University and Professor Jiang Shuihua from Nanchang University. Professor Cao, a CityU PhD graduate supervised by Professor Wang, helped facilitate the collaboration.
The Second Class Award was won by a project titled “High-efficiency Computing Theory and Method for Video Coding” conducted by Professor Sam Kwong Tak-wu, Chair Professor of Computer Science in the Department of Computer Science (CS), Professor Wang Hanli from Tongji University, Professor Pan Zhaoqing from Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Professor Zhang Yun from Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Professor Zhao Tiesong from Fuzhou University.
Professor Wang, Professor Pan and Professor Zhao are PhD graduates of CS, while Professor Zhang was previously a research assistant with the department.
Video coding converts the original form into another format, which is convenient for storage and transmission via compression. The arrival of the multimedia big data era means video data flow is expected to increase sharply, especially with the rise in live broadcasting, online learning, self-driving cars, and other new technologies. After more than 10 years of extensive research, the team has contributed to the ultra-high-definition video industry by developing new theories and methods for enhancing the algorithm efficiency for video coding on three key issues: optimal mode decision, sparse transformation quantisation, and motion estimation optimisation.
Published in journals included in the Science Citation Index, the team’s 59 academic papers have been cited positively by fellows of academies of science and engineering around the world as well as over 50 IEEE and Association for Computing Machinery fellows.
The Higher Education Outstanding Scientific Research Output Awards (Science and Technology) set up by the Ministry of Education are presented to individuals and units of higher education institutions for their outstanding contributions in the areas of scientific discovery, technological invention, promotion of scientific and technological advancement, and the implementation of patented technologies.
Transition to renewable energy poses an identity crisis for the oil and gas industry that is currently facing new challenges in efficiency and profitability in the new normal. Entities across the oil and gas value chain spectrum – exploration, production, midstream operators, wholesale, downstream distribution, trading and even retail operations – face entirely new and uncertain realities. These include ever-changing global hydrocarbon market prices, increased pressure from authorities on the environment and a fluctuating investment climate due to global uncertainty driven by dynamic and uncontrollable external forces.
To deliver a high level of profitability that is required to underpin hydrocarbon-based economies, particularly in Indonesia, both oil and gas companies and government bodies are seeking much higher operational efficiency rather than increased output. Transforming operation across the value chain through digital technology investment is increasingly gaining traction.
Companies that are prepared to leverage cutting-edge technologies will have a far more optimistic outlook. Investing in cloud computing infrastructure, sensor networks, IoT, edge computing, streaming messaging, open architectures, open standards and API’s are all on the cards. Open-source along with massive advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have the power to enhance oil field processes digitally.
These technologies will help companies make data-driven decisions on critical issues with tighter processes and information integration across the entire oil and gas value chain. The opportunity for fully integrated groups from oil and gas companies addressing the whole value chain in this scenario is promising.
AI has been utilised across industries to predict trends, manage stock levels and handle massive amounts of data. The energy industry has only started to harness the power of AI to automate processes, predict trends, improve performance and generally make their operations more efficient and cost-effective. Other non-conventional ways that AI can be deployed are in resources exploration by mapping and identifying petroleum deposits beneath the earth or detecting equipment failure or gas leaks.
The sector has to deal with continuous change, even as they endeavour to increase profitability, operational efficiency and reduce costs. The sector must embrace the inevitable realities of energy market transition, decarbonisation and lower hydrocarbon prices with both lower upstream output and leaner trading margins.
Breakthrough innovations are the need of the hour that can only be had by leveraging advanced technologies. This was the focal point of the OpenGovLive! Virtual Breakfast Insight held on 10 June 2021 which was sponsored by Red Hat and Intel.
The session aimed at imparting knowledge on how tech can make a significant impact on oil and gas businesses and help drive operational efficiency and profitability whilst reducing the cost and implementing digital oilfield 2.0 innovation.
This session served as a great peer-to-peer learning platform to gain insights and practical solutions to integrate cutting-edge tools and technologies for public sector communication and to scale these, as necessary.
How Oil and Gas Industries Benefit From Digital Transformation
To kickstart the session, Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief at OpenGov Asia delivered his opening address.
Mohit acknowledged that the oil and gas industry is one of the leading sectors that generate huge income. However, this industry has been negatively impacted over the last decade due to supply-demand factors and, more recently, the pandemic. While there are some uncontrollable factors, Mohit emphasised, there are others that companies can control, and they can control them effectively to achieve the desired goals.
The current use of technologies to mitigate the pandemic is not actual digital transformation as agencies have been deploying band-aid solutions and ad-hoc platforms to stay afloat. Digital transformation is more intentional, with strategy. It involves processes, technologies and people that facilitate business objectives of revenue, operational efficiency and cost containment.
Nevertheless, the core of transformation is people – the challenge Is how to get organisational culture on the same page with industry.
Digital transformation can bring a plethora of benefits to oil and gas industries such as improving operational efficiency, providing real-time data, increasing revenue, giving real-time analytics and report, increasing safety and decreasing risks.
Mohit encouraged the delegates to rethink how they harness the power of technology. This drive has to come from every unit, not just a few departments.
To effectively utilise technologies, partnerships are paramount to assist agencies in their digital transformation journey. Having competent partners is one of the keys to drive positive, effective, sustainable change.
Utilising Red Hat’s Technologies
Rully Moulany, Country Manager at Red Hat Indonesia was the next speaker who elaborated on the various technologies that Red Hat offers.
Red Hat Indonesia has been operational for seven years but globally it has been operating for over 20 years. The company is the biggest software enterprise in the world that focuses on open source technology.
Several Indonesian companies have been using Red Hat’s technologies particularly the Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system. This system is the foundation on which agencies can scale existing apps and roll out emerging technologies across all types of cloud environments.
It provides a versatile environment and the necessary tools needed to deliver services and workloads faster for any application. It reduces deployment friction and costs while speeding time to value for critical workloads, enabling development and operations teams to innovate together in any environment.
The company also has multiple other technologies and currently focuses on open hybrid cloud, infrastructure automation and cloud-native application development and platform.
The company also has multiple other technologies and currently focuses on open hybrid cloud. The greatest benefit of a hybrid cloud strategy is the ability to choose the optimal solution for each task or workload. It can become a necessity for many organisations as they grow. To fully enable the capability to adapt to change without costly rebuilding, a hybrid cloud should be built on a consistent foundation of open source code. Other technologies that Red Hat focuses on are infrastructure automation and cloud–native application development and platform.
Rully was confident that delegates would gain valuable knowledge from the speakers about open source technology. He was eagerly looking forward to a robust discussion, highly interactive, productive, and beneficial to everyone.
Driving Real Digital Success In Oil and Gas
David Forden, Director – Application Development Solutions at Red Hat Asia, was the next speaker who discussed how to use Red Hat and open source technology to drive digital success in the oil and gas sector.
According to David, oil and gas companies have mistakenly assumed that an engineering-savvy company can easily benefit from digital solutions. However, there is a prerequisite change that must happen to drive digital success.
In the current context, the sector has been dealing with uncontrollable external forces, such as the pandemic, the continued volatility of the oil prices and the impending transition to renewable energy sources apart from a host of regulatory, legal and financial hurdles.
As a result, smaller companies are forced to focus on short-term initiatives to survive while larger companies and fully integrated companies have an unprecedented opportunity to get to the next level on costs, efficiency and adaptability. Digital transformation is crucial to create a sustainable future but at the same time, it has been overhyped.
On the bright, research indicates a digital programme that implements narrow, deep, high-impact initiatives results in 2%-10% improvement and reduces costs by 10%-30%. This research suggests that digital inputs play a key role in generating more profits and increasing efficiency.
David believes that the major stumbling block for digital success is embedded notions and norms. Information technology already has existing culture and processes that are hard to change. The IT division has not been ready to address digital transformation problems. Hence, both cultural and technological changes are required to achieve digital success.
Nonetheless, there are various ways to accelerate cultural change such as team rotations, lighthouse service/team, embedded Minimum Viable Skills (MVS) resources, hackathons, MVS alignment and progression, communication/user groups, integration of culture, people and technology, communities of practice and design pattern.
It is also crucial to differentiate between sustaining innovation from disruptive innovation. Sustaining innovation means improving existing legacy systems to be more efficient whereas disruptive innovation implies a complete change in how to conduct businesses for higher advantages.
Chief Information Officers (CIOs) must separate sustaining innovation and disruptive innovation deliveries and address them both very differently. Be this the treatment of people, skills, processes, organisation structure, technology or centricity. These are the differences in characteristics between sustaining innovation and disruptive innovation:
Sustaining innovation: Cost-sensitive, reliability-centric, monolithic, ticket-centric, outsourced, minimal change, specialised based on function, upgraded in place, manual of functionally automated, technology-centric, incremental improvement in stability and performance, commodity-centric.
Disruptive innovation: Customer-sensitive, niche and/or unproven, distributed, independent, segmented, feedback-centric, collaborative expertise, rapid change, specialised based on service, rebuilt continually, service automation, user-centric, improved features with acceptable stability, new-capability-centric.
Hierarchical traditional practices are unsuitable for disruptive innovation, according to David. The focus must be on innovation, collaboration and guarding a coalition type model. They need to experiment with new and unproven technologies, but the potential of disruptive innovation outweighs the risks.
Open source is a disruptive innovation as it has permanently altered the way that business is conducted. Thousands of other open-source software projects completely dominate the enterprise software landscape. Such software is now the engine that is used to power a dominant share of the worlds digital transformation initiatives across all industries.
Technology in the oil field such as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) has been around for a long time and is used for many metering and control use cases. The advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), sensors and edge computing is the next generation of SCADA. It holds unique advantages and opportunities for data collection, processing, AI/ML and real-time analysis that equate to efficiencies and profitability. Edge computing is a natural ally for the rollout of IoT as it brings the processing closer to the source for distributed applications architectures leveraging IoT.
In closing, David pointed out that Red Hat not only offers a digital transformation in oil and gas but also has strong thought leadership in technology transition. They have a deep understanding of solution needs and offer extensive professional services to help ensure companies’ digital transformation. David invited delegates to partner with Red Hat and engage in more discussions and open dialogue.
Digital Transformation in Oil and Gas Industry
He explained why digital transformation is necessary for the oil and gas industries, what areas that benefit from this transformation and how companies can successfully undergo digital transformation. Undoubtedly, profitability is the main factor that drives digital transformation in the sector and current statistics reveal the volatility of the industries’ profit.
As a consequence of price dips, the pandemic, climate change initiatives and global energy transition, prices will remain volatile for the foreseeable future. Digital transformation is the primary method to increase cost-efficiency to survive this unstable situation.
According to PwC Indonesia’s survey on digital transformation, the five most popular technologies used in oil and gas companies include Manufacturing Execution System (MES), cloud computing, energy analytics, connectivity or IoT and ML. These technologies are applied to areas such as predictive maintenance, digital process optimization, smart energy, transportation risk management and integrated planning. These areas have the biggest potential to yield huge benefits.
Research showed that the industry leaders expect a 10% revenue increase and an 8.5% cost reduction from digitalisation. Nevertheless, well over a third of respondents said that they are still digital novices and digital followers. Only a fifth are confident that they are digital innovators and digital champions. To achieve the goals, companies need to be digital innovators or digital champions.
Widita went on to explore ways to implement a digital transformation framework. Companies need to determine their business priorities and what areas to focus on for digitalisation. Five typical areas for oil and gas companies to focus on are subsurface evaluation, development or engineering, production operation and maintenance excellence, connected supply chain and smart health, safety, security and environment.
Digitalisation must be driven by businesses not technologies. As such, companies need foundational capabilities that include technology architecture, digital talent, data management and governance, as well as partnerships.
Widita ended his presentation by stressing the importance of agile culture. Digital transformation does not usually happen by building a grand plan and taking actions later on. It has inherent agility in which companies experiment with potential technologies and either repeat or discard the effort. With every iteration comes a learning experience for companies.
After the informative presentations, delegates participated in interactive discussions facilitated by polling questions. This activity is designed to provide live-audience interaction, promote engagement, hear real-life experiences and impart professional learning and development for participants.
The first question in the opening poll was about the criticality of digital oil field transformation to the company’s near term success in the oil and gas value chain. Three quarters (75%) of the delegates agreed that digital transformation in the oil field is extremely critical while a quarter (25%) felt that it is somewhat critical.
The next question focused on how delegates characterise the current stage of digital oil field transformation in their company. The delegates were equally divided between pilot projects already rolled out (40%) and that their companies have already applied full-scale implementation of more than one project (40%). Just a fifth (20%) said that their companies have been planning the transformation but they have no implementation.
Mohit added that transformation can be bite-sized pieces in a form of a quick fix of a particular problem, it does not always have to be a grand gesture.
Asked if delegates view edge computing as part and parcel of their digital oil field transformation strategy, half (50%) felt it is somewhat critical and almost half (44%) said that the technology is supercritical. Only 6% thought that edge computing is marginally critical.
Inquiring about the percentage of their overall IT investment to digital oil field transformation strategy over the next 3 years, a little over a third (38%) said that the IT division gets less than 50%. A quarter (19%) said their IT team gets 30% of overall investment. More than one-fifth (12%) said the IT division gets less than 20%. Only 6% said their IT investment is over 50%.
The last question was on the role that open-source software plays in their companies. Half (50%) said that open source plays a somewhat critical role while a little over a quarter (26%) felt the technology is marginally critical. Interestingly, more than one-fifth (13%)thought open source plays a key role, the same number (13%) believed that open source is not critical at all
The Virtual Breakfast Insight ended with the closing remarks from David. After hearing the interactive discussion from the delegates, he was looking forward to working with them. He stressed the importance of edge computing and urged everyone to think more deeply about the strategy that needs to be in place. He encouraged people to lobby the group to get a better profile of investment for the IT division in digital transformation.
Before bringing the session to an end, Rully thanked everyone for their active participation. He encouraged the delegates to exchange ideas and gain more information about open source.