The rapid advance of mining digitalisation, coupled with regulatory changes, will change the way that African mines operate and require careful consideration of the impact of those changes to mining stakeholders.
The digital revolution
The velocity of change sweeping across industries is increasing at unprecendented rates. In this turbulence, many business leaders ask how they should plan for a world they cannot imagine in five to ten years time. Two key principles hold in such a world. Firstly, digital strategic choices do not rely on fortune telling, but rather entail becoming ‘antifragile’ – equipping an organisation to thrive under volatility. Second, engaging with the Fourth Industrial Revolution is not a passive observation, but requires the recognition that intentional choices will shape the economic and social landscape of the future. As Alan Kay quipped, “the best way to predict the future is to invent it.”
Image Credit: Deloitte Africa
Each industrial revolution – First: water and steam power, Second: electricity, Third: electronic automation, and now Fourth: convergence across physical, digital and biological domains – has fundamentally altered how human beings live and work. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is finding expression in the form of computing power, digital devices, sensors, connectivity, analytics, cloud computing, cognitive automation, the internet of things, technological ecosystems, and user interfaces.
The digital age is set to disrupt the lives of individuals, communities, but particularly organisations. Mines are no exception to this rule, with far reaching implications and important opportunities. Mines on the African continent need to be cognisant of both the impending changes to their business, and of the impact of those changes to the societies in which they operate.