“Twenty years ago, we were asking how to manage the potential for digitalization in industry, and today we are doing the same thing,” according to Arne Mjøs, founder and CEO of Itera, the Nordic tech company in creating digital businesses to industrial companies seeking sustainable change.
Mjøs explains that the digital capabilities today may be light-years ahead of what it once was, but everyone is still talking about the same concepts and still figuring out how to extract more value from data that are locked in silos and legacy systems across IT and OT.
The idea of technology doing more for industrial companies first blossomed in Mjøs’ mind in 1995, following a talk with Bill Gates in Oslo. “Already then, Gates was talking about the future of software and the power of having information at your fingertips. It sparked something in me.”
One of the first to be cloud-first
That spark manifested into the thriving global company Itera, which delivers digital solutions to the oil and gas, power and utilities, manufacturing, and fishery industries. Itera was a frontrunner in spotting the opportunities connected to cloud platforms, and the company adopted a cloud-first strategy long before it was on most corporate radars.
“Our cloud-first strategy led us to make another key decision: Itera’s Delivery Factory at Scale. This is essentially a distributed delivery model designed to deliver digital services from everywhere with the right mix of deep domain knowledge, customer experience and software engineering skills. The model is embracing best-fit partnerships into next generation industrial DataOps, which has resulted in collaboration with companies such as Cognite, Aize, DNV and Microsoft.”
What comes next for industry?
The spark within Mjøs has not faded since that initial encounter with the Microsoft founder, and it’s in his nature to stay on the hunt for the ‘next big thing’ in the tech space. He currently has his eyes on three key trends – areas where he believes that industrial players should focus:
1. Broaden your definition of the cloud
“We see all emerging technology become digital capabilities in the cloud that is also embracing the edge, hybrid cloud and multi-cloud. Every company will need to be a technology company in their own right where data is the key to success.”
2. Don’t underestimate digital twin technology
“Digital twin technology is maturing very fast to make it much easier to share data and precisely analyze and measure the performance of the physical world. This will only reinforce its importance going forward.”
3. Blockchain, 3D printing and quantum computing may be buzzwords, but they will be hugely important for industry
“Blockchain, 3D printing and quantum computing will be enormously important building blocks for the industrial future. The radical changes in the computing architecture are the key to making these technologies work and alter the course of industry.”
A technical means to a sustainable end
Sharing data is at the heart of it all, according to Mjøs, and it’s what is going to propel these trends and big ideas into the industrial mainstream. And perhaps what’s even more crucial, he says, is to ensure that everything we do technology-wise has a sustainable end in sight.
“It’s time to turn everything into a sustainable business,” says Mjøs. “Covid-19 has been an eye-opener. It would have been a much different picture to have experienced Covid in the year 2000. We simply didn’t have the tools or capabilities to tackle everything back then.”
Today we have all the tools that are uniquely designed for this time to help people, organizations and entire industries to make all the difference for our climate, and it’s part of Itera’s mission to help their customers do just that.
“We need to fix the climate, and I believe that we have a social responsibility as a tech company to do our part,” asserts Mjøs. “We have the technical know-how in the world to solve this, and we need to empower our customers to build a more sustainable future.”
Join Arne Mjøs for his Ignite Talks session, The Future Is Electric: Technology for a Decarbonized, Decentralized, and Complex Power Supply, on September 21, 17:30-18:00 CEST / 12:00-12:30 EDT. Register here.