Over the past year, companies operating in critical infrastructure and industrial industries have faced numerous business challenges: labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, geopolitical conflicts, cybersecurity threats, extreme weather events, and the urgency of implementing sustainability and net zero strategies, to name more than a few.
To help manage these trends, companies are using Industry 4.0 digital transformation investments to deliver improved business outcomes. Cisco is proud to highlight the business outcomes being achieved by our customers and partners in the Manufacturing, Transportation, Energy, Utilities, and Mining industries. Managing your business while looking to innovation can seem like a never-ending cycle. Here are three areas that can help deliver results:
- Enabling Operational Resiliency
- Securing Critical Infrastructure
- Achieving Sustainable Operations
Enabling Operational Resiliency
Over the past three years, industrial and critical infrastructure businesses used digital transformation to overcome labour disruptions. In fact, data from IMD World Competitiveness Center shows us that digitally savvy companies recovered faster than other organizations after the initial economic downturn in March of 2020. Companies used hybrid work to accommodate secure remote workers and enable remote operations. They augmented their labor, delivered on-the-job training, and helped keep operations safe with remote expert solutions.
Carlos Rojas discusses how manufacturing customers are using hybrid work here:
Similarly, companies have improved their supply chain resiliency by putting in place systems to grant better visibility and security of their supply chain: making it easier, faster, and safer to onboard new suppliers. At the same time, they have implemented better inventory management, asset visibility, and industrial mobility tools; allowing them to keep track of inventory, machines, materials, and people in plants, fleets, warehouses, and storage yards across the supply chain.
Roland Plett shows how the mining industry is working to build a more agile supply chain here:
Securing Critical Infrastructure
Ransomware and other malware attacks on industrial and critical infrastructure industries are on the rise; these industries represented as much as 23% of recent incidents. [Forrester Research].
As a stark example, one state cyber adversary targeted defense, energy, critical infrastructure, and other industries, leading to potential theft of hundreds of millions of dollars. [Cisco TALOS, 2022]
Operators of energy and utility infrastructure – oil & gas facilities, pipelines, electricity grids, water utilities – are using digital tools to build industrial security processes: asset posture and visibility, risk mitigation, threat response, and integrated IT / OT security operations.
Jeff Tufts discusses how digitization of the power grid – specifically substation automation – is helping utilities connect more systems, improve performance at scale, and enable asset visibility and cyber threat detection – allowing the substation network to be a security sensor.
On a similar theme, Roland Plett outlines how the Oil & Gas industry is using the example of the 2021 Colonial Pipeline incident to increase their security posture.
Achieving Sustainable Operations
In addition to their cyber security benefits, Cisco customers and partners are using digital technologies, asset monitoring, and visibility to implement new sustainability measures. They are doing this by connecting sensors, machines, systems, and devices over wireless and wired networks to obtain telemetry data and monitor and manage environmental conditions:
- Manage energy consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in buildings
- Enable bidirectional energy transfer from renewables, batteries, and electric vehicles to power building systems
- Monitor and improve air quality in factories and urban environments
- Manage water and wastewater in industrial operations and utilities
- Measure and reduce scrap across the industrial supply chain
Here is how Cisco partners used digital solutions to deliver environmental outcomes as part of the Cisco Global Sustainability Challenge:
Electric vehicles are one way we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by traditional internal combustion engines in transportation and other industries. Electric vehicle adoption is tied to the availability of reliable EV charging infrastructure. Laura Perek discusses Cisco’s solution for connected and secure electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Customers in a variety of industries are using digital transformation to deliver operational and business resiliency, security, and sustainability!
Cisco and its partners can show you how!