Successful Examples of Enterprise-Wide Digital Transformation

Steve Jobs gave a small private presentation about the iTunes Music Store to some independent record label people. My favorite line of the day was when people kept raising their hand saying, "Does it do [x]?/' "Do you plan to add [y]?" Finally Jobs said, "Wait, wait—put your hands down. Listen: I know you have a thousand ideas for all the cool features iTunes could have. So do we. But we don't want a thousand features. That would be ugly. Innovation is not about saying yes to everything. It's about saying NO to all but the most crucial features."

Derek Sivers


We take a short break from the Proclndustries South Texas refinery and their continued use of the enterprise information data infrastructure (EIDI). In this chapter, we describe how actual process manufacturing companies have transformed their companies through innovative uses of their own EIDIs (e.g., OSIsoft PI System). Although these companies are in different industry sectors, their use cases, methodology, and results are strikingly similar.

The following company use cases are presented:

  • • An international integrated oil and gas company that we call OilCo. The example presented focuses on their use of EIDI (PI System) data in downstream refining.
  • • A North American midstream petroleum services company that we call MidPetCo. The use case presents improvement of their pipeline operations through data analysis.

An international gold-mining company that we call GoldMineCo.

The use case describes how intelligent use of operations data resulted in a lower cost of producing gold.

  • A multinational building and construction materials company that we call MaterialsCo. The use case presents how they are monitoring and automating their fleet of plants.
  • An international specialty chemicals company that we call ChemCo. We present how ChemCo uses data throughout the company to solve difficult, hard-to-diagnose production issues.

You will see how these companies went about their digital transformations and how they prioritized their use cases, which directly correspond to the material we presented in earlier chapters of this book. We found some common threads in how customers leveraged their own EIDI:

  • 1. The EIDI became their consolidated time-series system of record.
  • 2. Existing data silos were consolidated, including a multitude of personal Excel spreadsheets.
  • 3. They added context to the EIDI data in real time, so that it became more easily usable by people or analytics software.
  • 4. The companies enabled self-service access to the EIDI data.
  • 5. They collaborated to solve difficult problems and to innovate with new use cases, changing the culture.
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