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Tag: Ask the Experts

Telenor’s Øystein Berg, Chief Security Architect for the telco’s Norwegian operations, talks to Ignite about the most common threats to industrial assets and what can be done to mitigate them.

Are industrial assets often a target for cyberattacks?

Øystein: Industrial systems are very much a target for cyberattacks, and given today’s security situation, these attacks can come daily and hit society hard. And many of the industrial assets under attack are important control systems that we depend on, such as access to petrol, food, heat, and electricity. These types of resources are often targeted because the gains can be substantial in terms of industrial espionage, geopolitical events, military strategy, or financial conditions.

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Hydrogen will play an important role in the energy transition. According to Goldman Sachs, hydrogen generation can become a $1 trillion market.

As many companies ramp up their investments in hydrogen, it’s time to debunk a few myths about the clean fuel.

We asked Jon André Løkke, CEO of Nel Hydrogen, to answer three rapid-fire questions in less than 100 words.

How does hydrogen work, how it is sustainable, and why should(n’t) it be compared to nuclear?

Jon André Løkke: Hydrogen has multiple modes of application: a storage device, handling intermittencies, decarbonizing heavy industry and chemical processes, and transportation. It’s the ultimate energy carrier! And when produced via electrolysis utilizing renewable energy sources, it’s a key part of a sustainable future.

Nuclear, on the other hand, is an energy source—not a carrier—so its uses are limited. But this power source can be turned into hydrogen, hence, hydrogen can make nuclear relevant in a range of new areas.

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John Markus Lervik, CEO and co-founder of Cognite, reflects on this month’s big event that wasn’t:

For the second year in a row, the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, was canceled.

You may be thinking “Good riddance!” Sure—it’s easy to joke about Davos and how it’s nothing but VIPs jetting into a resort town, spouting their supposed wisdom about the future, and taking off.

If you’re not a world leader or the head of a Fortune 100 company, however, I’d argue there’s a lot you can get out of a trip to Davos. The opportunities for interesting conversations are endless. (Besides, who wouldn’t welcome a chance to reconnect with people you might not have seen since before the pandemic?)

There are still plenty of virtual sessions on the agenda, but as we’ve learned over the past two years, going all-virtual isn’t a perfect replacement for the real thing. You can’t save the world on Zoom.

Let’s conduct a thought experiment. If Davos were still happening this week, here are the headlines I’d hope to see emerge from the Alpine town:

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The man who told you about the industrial metaverse, Stein Danielsen, Cognite’s Chief Solutions Officer, is back, and this time he’s talking about the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

The annual Vegas-based gadget extravaganza that is CES took place in the early days of 2022, with a mostly stay-at-home audience thanks to Omicron. But that didn’t stop the consumer electronics giants of the world from rolling out the latest and greatest in slimmer, curvier or even color-changing contraptions to wow their viewers.

Stein follows the event closely each year, so we thought we’d pick his brain on what the industrial world can learn from the big reveals at CES.

Does CES tell us anything about the future of industry?

SD: I definitely see a crossover into industry. The consumer industry is a few years ahead of industry on many fronts. In previous years it has been about handheld devices and wireless sensors. This year, I feel it was very much about robotics.

Like what?

SD: CES had a record number of new robots and in so many shapes and sizes. The usage areas span from entertainment, to hospitality, to automatically disinfecting rooms and delivering goods. I think most or all of these are applicable to industry.

Did any of the featured robots stand out as having specific industrial potential?

SD: One example is the remote-controlled robot Beomni. Beomni could easily be a telepresence option for industrial sites. It features arms and very delicate hands that allow for operating equipment remotely. LG showed CLOi, a GuideBot and a ServeBot, both of which could easily work in industry. And Samsung revealed their home companion robots, the Samsung Bot I and the Samsung Bot Handy, along with an AI Avatar. These would be great industrial coworkers, enabling telepresence and remote access to sites.

So, how far have we really come with these robots? Are they industry-ready?

SD: From my point of view, the manual, remotely operated robots are really starting to show promise to do actual work right now. As for the autonomous robots, I think we’ve solved (on an academic level) two out of the three requirements. We’ve solved the spatial awareness and the learning loop, just like a human. But we still lack actual robot hardware that can move like a human. But we’re getting there, and it’s exciting to see that in many areas and tasks – we are there!

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Kimmo Alkio, TietoEVRY CEO

“When one discovers the impact of technology, the global scope of innovation, how it advances societies and is so critical to business, that’s when you know that the tech sector is now and will always be one of the most exciting industries in the world,” proclaims Kimmo Alkio, president and CEO of TietoEVRY, the Nordic software and services company.

Alkio has been traversing the world of technology since he graduated from Texas A&M University in the 1980s. He started his tech career with Digital Equipment Corporation (later acquired by Compaq), followed by F-Secure and Nokia before joining the former Tieto in 2011.

“Those who’ve been in this industry for a while have seen how we’ve been through a large learning curve across different technologies, different business models, and evolving ways of working,” Alkio said. “This experience, along with the development of close customer relationships, are the foundations for success in the field.”

Change has been constant throughout Alkio’s career. He had just wrapped up Tieto’s merger with EVRY (in December 2019) when society shut down shortly after, prompted by the Covid-19 outbreak. Alkio describes it as an exciting but challenging time.

The dual forces of a life-changing pandemic and a newly settled merger posed an opportunity for us to question our old habits, to learn how to engage virtually with employees across the globe, and maintain and even intensify the activity levels with customers,” he said.

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According to a Tech Pro Research survey, 70% of companies either have a digital transformation strategy in place or are working on one, an impressive figure which might suggest that the vast expanse of industry is well on its way to a promising digital future. In reality, 70% of digital transformations fail, most often due to resistance from employees, according to research conducted by McKinsey.

Stakeholder demand and public expectation continue to rise at pace. Driven by the pressure to decarbonize, nearly every sector is setting more rigorous sustainability standards with digitalization at their heart. If companies can’t manage the change, they risk reputational damage and becoming irrelevant.

“When it comes to digitalization, what companies need most is to outline their commitment and goals and formulate a plan to offer structure and translate strategy into action for their people,” says John Sczurko, executive president of consulting at Wood.

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Yasuki Tsukahara of Yokogawa

Yasuki Tsukahara, the director and managing executive officer for Yokogawa Solution Service Co. Ltd., reflects on the complex and data-intensive path we must take to reach a renewably powered world.

After 35 years with Yokogawa, Yasuki Tsukahara has had many careers within the company. It began by supporting business development for international oil companies and it led to his position today, helping to build solutions for industrial automation, as well as testing and measurement solutions, around the world. Currently his focus is on delivering solutions to help the renewables industry succeed. In Yokogawa’s mission to support a world powered by renewables, Tsukahara outlines three must-haves to make renewables a more viable option for the power providers.

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Dr. Sanjiv Gossain of Cognizant speaks to Ignite News on industrial digitalization

Sanjiv Gossain is a firm believer in the power of technology to solve major societal challenges. His knack for untangling complex problems defined his academic years and later a career spent bridging the gap between business and technology.

As the Cognizant Digital Business and Technology Leader and Global Head of Google Cloud, Gossain says that “no two days are alike.” Change has been the only constant during his decade and a half with the company, and his belief in the importance of what Cognizant does has never wavered.

“Our clients come to us for help to keep up with change,” Gossain said. “The business leaders want to be able to respond to increasing competition and rising customer expectations. The tech people want to figure out how to speed up to deliver products and services in weeks, not months. And then there are the underlying factors they all must deal with, including sustainability, which is where I see great focus these days.”

Dr. Sanjiv Gossain of Cognizant is a firm believer in the power of technology to solve major societal challenges. His knack for untangling complex problems defined his academic years and later a career spent bridging the gap between business and technology.
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Itera CEO has his eye on these emerging industrial IT trends

“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.” 

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.
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Rolf Thu CTO of Aarbakke
Rolf Thu, CTO of Aarbakke

Most people are talking about DataOps as if it’s an idea that emerged within the last 5 to 10 years. But according to Rolf Thu, it’s something Aarbakke, a world-leading mechanical solutions supplier to the oil and gas industry, has been thinking about since the early 2000s.

Thu says that digitalization and what’s today known as DataOps has been long in the making — people just didn’t know what to call it. For Aarbakke, it’s been a steady evolution, introducing digital solutions step by step over the years until the company emerged as the “smart factory” it sees itself as today.

“I joined Aarbakke in 1989, and the theme throughout my career has been learning,” Thu said. “And what we’re doing now with data is also about learning. We are learning from best practices, we are increasing the competence of our employees, and we are constantly seeking improvements for our factory through better and smarter uses of data.”

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