The resources industry, in particular, is known for lurching from boom to bust. This often leads to us exploring ways to capitalise on opportunities whilst reducing cost and risk, especially in the rough times. We have established one of the best ways to achieve both goals is through the introduction of technology. However, as good as the industry is at finding and digging up valuable stuff, it’s not that good at ‘managing’ and maintaining the introduction of new technology into an organisation.
Talk to anyone who has been involved in rolling out new technology, and you’ll get a feel for the different reasons this can be a challenging undertaking. Alternatively, do a simple search and you will quickly learn about some of the top reasons for failure, which include:
Of course you will find the odd success story here and there, but generally speaking, as an industry, we are fairly poor at managing this transition.
And yet the longer we wait to make a change, the more complex the data management problem becomes. Manual processes and workarounds become more complex, data silos develop, disparate systems start to pop up, and the people who ‘understand’ the complexity move on. With this all happening, even the most careful handling is susceptible to data corruption or even loss. And I don’t think I need to explain the cost of acquiring this data.
Even though we know all this can go wrong, bringing technology in to help manage data puts people off. The fear of starting a technology project can be crippling, particularly when you know there will be disruption in your current processes. No one likes to rip the bandage off. But if we know we can significantly increase chances of success and reduce cost and risk while doing it, why do we fear starting?
It’s completely understandable that people worry about what could go wrong. The software industry has a legacy of product that can’t be modified without high cost or significant disruption to daily workloads. Unlike getting a haircut from your trusted barber or buying a pair of your favourite shoes, it’s harder to know you’re making a good decision, especially if things may need to temporarily slow down before realising the massive benefit.
Data management is complex because there’s widespread reliance on it. Different functions need the data for different reasons. It’s sourced from hardware and equipment, other software, and manual processes. With all this complexity, how can we possibly come up with the right solution?
Referred to as analysis paralysis, the desire to understand every detail before you make a decision is certainly an admirable goal, but it’s almost impossible to evaluate every single aspect of the technology. With technology advancing at a rapid pace and constant process changes occurring in your business, the evaluation criteria is in flux. How do you know if you will be able to solve tomorrow’s problems?
There’s no doubt it may seem easier to stick your head in the sand and carry on with business as usual. The problem with this is it’s actually a decision – and it’s one that puts your exploration investment or mining decisions and activities at risk. As your data grows and ages, your ability to manage it with ease and confidence erodes. Soon your geologists and engineers are spending time fiddling with data rather than focussing on the job they’re there to do – make decisions to help advance your business.
All of these fears can be eliminated by having the right technology system in place earlier in the life of a mine. This removes the fear associated with trying to find a perfect solution once your mining operation is in full swing. The benefits are many.
Perhaps the best reason to start early is you don’t want to wait until things get worse. You can’t anticipate all problems. Above all, when making a decision, don’t leave it to gut feel. Heavily focus on evaluating the vendor’s ability to provide a sustainable solution, carefully considering the way the technology scales and adapts. Ensure you consider their competence including experience, support, and resources. This is your way to addressing future problems in a business climate when change is the norm.
In resources companies, starting earlier and starting small puts you on the path to reach long-term efficiencies in data handling, thereby improving productivity, reducing risk and improving safety. The acQuire GIM Solution can be established at any stage and grows with your operation. Not only do you get immediate benefit, it reduces the installation complexity and disruption to your operation that comes if you wait and do it later.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can get started with a GIM Solution today and learn how the GIM Suite technology can help you manage your data better, call us. The sooner you start, the less you’ll have to worry about in the long term.