Don’t start from scratch: Why you should embrace your traditional digital tech

December 12, 2017 Tim Shire

In my last blog, we explored how cloud technologies offer real business value to your refinery. Our experience is that once people start using the cloud, a cascade of potential opens and the value grows exponentially.

That said, digital technology and analytics sometimes holds out a false promise of replacing some of the difficult decisions and analysis that refiners have to make with a computerized solution. Companies that try this often spend a lot of time re-inventing the wheel and struggling to replicate even basic human functions.

A better approach is to build on top of what already exists, for instance using existing simulations to validate input data for analytics, and feeding simulation outputs into data mining. A systematic approach providing insights that support the decisions that are already being made, built into existing work processes is more likely to succeed than starting from scratch and working a new way.

Furthermore, before embarking on ‘new’ digital technologies, consider how to extract the most value out of ‘traditional’ digital technologies such as simulation, advanced process control and manufacturing execution systems (potentially by leveraging new technologies too). This can often provide a level of focus and quick wins which are much more powerful than embarking on new technology implementation from scratch.

At KBC, we believe that the cloud is primarily about collaboration and is an enabler for the next generation of digital tools but ensuring that you are using your old technology in new ways is the key to making future vision a reality.

Read the full version of Tim's digital technologies article featured in Hydrocarbon Engineering magazine

Share this

Related blog posts


The big three questions to the Head of Asset and Digital Transformation

Jan 28, 2020

Jon Allwood, Head of Asset and Digital Transformation

When speaking to leaders in the energy and chemical industry there are three questions that define the conversation. They are keen to know the challenges of digitalization, what's the most disruptive change and what's new. Our Head of Asset and Digital Transformation gives his view.

Read full article

The right decisions in abnormal situations

May 13, 2020

Sanjay Bhargava, Principal Consultant

Do you have an accurate representation of your plant to drive the right decisions in your organization at this critical time?

Read full article

Digitalization exposed

Apr 22, 2020

Stephen George, Chief Economist; Mark Routt, Chief Economist Americas

With an increased awareness of digitalization, the pace of business’ digital strategy is accelerating. Digital Twins are becoming core to business success and will drive operational excellence and give an organization’s single point of “truth".

Read full article

Get the latest updates from KBC

Sign up to our newsletter to receive our latest innovations, viewpoints and be informed about any upcoming events.