The new year often gives us a chance to reflect on our personal lives, about our growth and progress as well as our goals and vision. Businesses also need a moment of reflection, a fair assessment of systems, an accurate analysis of results and a dynamic plan for the future. No matter what your business’s role in the industry — OEM, integrator, distributor, user — the new year provides an opportunity to rethink some of the old models and consider implementing something new.
Are We Losing Our Spirit of Innovation? By John Berra
For those of us who work in technology, Jobs is a wonderful example—not only of innovation but also of the rewarding process of translating innovation into business success. In my time in automation, I have seen wonderful examples of innovation, but I’m very worried that the pace of innovation in automation has slowed down in the last few years. Right now the world needs our innovation more than ever.
Perhaps the most innovative time in our industry was the ‘70s and ‘80s. This period gave us the PLC, the DCS, smart field instruments, new technologies such as Coriolis flow meters, and the transformation of control rooms from meters and panel boards to video displays. Our industry is conservative, and yet all of this transformation happened in a relatively short period of around 10 years. To be sure, innovation in automation continues today, but the last 10 or so years don’t seem to measure up to the past. This is not good for the industry or the world.
Our industry must have a culture of innovation. You can’t just cost-reduce your way to success.
With the current state of the economy, is innovation worth the risk? Or is innovation a priority at your company? What new systems and applications are you considering?