The utility and manufacturing industries are in the midst of significant transformation. While scheduled maintenance in plants is still the norm, many forward-looking companies are choosing to embrace new digital technologies to better leverage their data. Monitoring and predictive analytics are opening the doors to exciting new possibilities and giving utility companies a way to improve reliability, safety, and efficiency.

It’s all a part of this shift towards Industry 4.0—what many are referring to as “The Fourth Industrial Revolution.” Interconnectivity is empowering companies to operate at a whole new level and leverage real-time insights in a way never before possible. Of course, to successfully implement emerging technology, you need talented people who are willing to brave a new frontier.

Recently, one of the largest utility companies in the US approached us with an unprecedented request. They were looking to leverage data and predictive asset analytics to increase efficiency at their plant and cut average search time from five hours to three minutes. Accomplishing this goal would require the skills of a unique individual who could successfully walk the line between engineering and IT. They needed a digital engineer.

What is a Digital Engineer?

A digital engineer is a person who works at the intersection of engineering and IT. Most often, digital engineers are mechanical or industrial engineers who later become experts in IT. It’s a brand new job title and function that will play a critical role in a plants’ ability to increase efficiency and reduce costs through predictive analytics. Digital engineers are at the forefront of digital transformation in the plant environment and serve as agents of change to help these organizations enter the fourth industrial revolution.

Historically, the utility industry has been slow to adopt new IT technologies. So we were thrilled to hear that our client was looking to implement a new and exciting digital modeling tool. It’s a touch-controlled system that honestly looks and feels like a video game. The digital engineer we would place for this role would have the opportunity to become one of a handful of the platform’s SMEs in the United States. Pretty cool.

Does My Company Need to Hire a Digital Engineer?

It depends on your transformation goals. This is just the beginning of a major shift for industrial and utility plants. As more and more organizations embrace cutting edge technologies, the more in-demand these digital engineers will become. We are thrilled to be at the forefront of this exciting new development.

With decades of experience serving clients in industrial environments and IT expertise, 3Ci/MAU is uniquely positioned to help clients move towards whatever’s next with the best people to help you get there. If you’re looking to hire digital engineers and start driving digital transformation within your organization, we can help.  Learn more about 3Ci or schedule a call with our team of experts.

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