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Digital transformation and technology acceleration due to COVID-19 – Emerson


Digital transformation and technology have accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic arrival. Emerson representatives expressed the industry has matured quickly digitally as a collateral effect of the pandemic.

Digital transformation and technological changes: an acceleration?

At the “Emerson Exchange Virtual Series” event, Emerson representatives shared their perspectives regarding digital transformation and technology acceleration due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In their perspective, the pandemic has brought a series of incentives to innovation in many companies, allowing them to mature in organizational terms.

According to Mike Allen, Emerson Global Users Exchange Chairman, the current conjuncture poses considerable challenges for their clients. In his words, “before COVID-19, the innovation efforts were more exploratory than material” for some companies.

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However, Peter Zornio, Chief Technology Officer of Emerson Automation Solutions, highlighted that several of their clients had already committed to increasing their digital transformation investments.

Zornio recognized that some companies are now investing more in technological solutions and innovation than in any other activity type.

Those actions will ease remote work in Emerson’s perspective and reinforce several of their users’ disposition to adapt to virtual formats.

Concise transformations due to COVID-19

Stuart Harris, Digital Transformation Group President at Emerson, shared some of the most visible digital transformations resulting from the pandemic: process automation, the remote collaboration, and the sanitary measures undertaken for personnel safety.

First, processes’ automation has allowed monitoring tools to replace the human factor. Before the pandemic, “several person-hours were wasted” in data recollection and activity monitoring, Harris declared.

However, many manual rounds have been replaced with the digital transformation for technological options such as sensors.

Second, remote support and collaboration have been possible given the multi-disciplinary contribution that many people made for those purposes.

Augmented reality solutions and mobile technologies are displacing face-to-face meetings. In that way, work performance, in some cases, has improved.

Third, Harris mentioned that companies could protect their employees’ health through density management and contact tracing and help their clients continue operative.

Regarding technological reconfigurations, Zornio shared that an essential element for digital transformation has been cloud development. For operators (OP), IT solutions have been vital for them to work remotely more safely and straightforwardly.

Also, data analysis is now an important asset to consider for future developments within the industry. “The analytics objective is to move into action,” Harris declared. In that sense, with tools such as augmented reality or virtual reality, users have approached more material results.

Finally, participants concluded that one of the most significant digital transformation changes due to the pandemic would be cultural ones. In Harris’ words, “a successful transformation is not only about technology; culture is key.”

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