Digital disruption is hitting even the most old-line industries. In the current PM Network®, we explore how IT projects are improving mining. A report shows that four out of five mining and metals organizations expect to spend more on digital technologies over the next three years. More than half point to robotics and automation as the top spending areas in mine operations. And 56 percent are considering merging their IT and operational technology groups in the next 12 months.
A big challenge is gaining the support of workers, who have to learn how to pilot remote-control machines, and supervisors afraid their decision-making responsibilities will be taken away (they won’t be).
Experts say planning this type of project must be done carefully and without shortcuts, or the projects might lack strategic value and won’t harness the full power of the technology. Project managers must see these initiatives as transformational.
Startups and research centers are involved in mining-sector projects, launching pilots that include electric autonomous vehicles that are continuously charged by a modular and movable electrical and induction system. The vehicles, without the weight of batteries, are very efficient.
Look for articles covering the rapidly changing world of projects and project managers in every issue of PM Network. Are you involved in a digital transformation project in an old-line sector? Tell us about it in the comments.