Category: Cloud, Digital Transformation
How Microsoft’s Mining Core is transforming mining operations in South Africa for the better
There is no doubt that emerging technologies powering the fourth industrial revolution like AI, ML, IoT, and the latest cloud technologies are a powerhouse for the digital transformation of companies, and the mining sector is no different. In confirmation with the same trend in South Africa, where the mining industry is one of the significant pillars of the country’s economy, has revved up the mining sector.
The mining industry has greatly benefitted from Microsoft’s establishment of Mining Core, which is an AI centre for excellence related to the mining sector. The Mining Core promotes sustainability and transforming the mining communities in sync with the emerging technologies of the present times, by implementing better ways of working through digital transformation. This is achieved by working in tandem with Microsoft’s partner ecosystem and establishing fruitful partnerships that contribute positively to change the mining sector in the country.
Mining Sector in South Africa
The importance of the mining sector is critical for the South African economy and plays a significant part in contributing to the GDP, employment, and tax revenue for this African nation. To give a clear context to this statement, we should consider that the mining sector in the country employed more than 450,000 people, and created tax revenue of R24.3 billion, and contributed R360.9 billion to the GDP of South Africa.
Considering the importance of the mining sector in South Africa, it becomes paramount to deal with the emergence of challenges to this sector in recent times. These are in the form of declining output, a backward march of the cost competitiveness due to the volatility of commodities, an uncertain regulatory environment, and an unreliable energy supply. On top of this, the deep impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened the crisis in the mining sector and it is very much in need of lasting solutions that can help this sector to regain its competitiveness and regain its place as a mainstay of the South African economy.
Contours of Technological Solution Needed
The much-needed relief that is needed for the re-emergence of the mining sector in the country is based on implementing the pertinent digital transformation solutions in the form of AI, IoT, and data analytics. Such solutions help the mining sector to adapt to a new sustainable form that can help to optimize the mining operations for better performance.
The main aim of the Mining Core institution is to help the mining sector in being a better version of itself by touching areas like digital transformation, health and safety, environment, and aiming for a positive social impact. This can be achieved by the implementation of AI technologies that form the mainstay of the digital transformation initiative in the mining sector and transforms the sector into a fair, reliable, inclusive, secure, transparent, and responsible entity in collaboration with the partner ecosystem of Microsoft.
Mining companies operating in the region understand that a digitally sound mining sector is unavoidable for ensuring a progressive and sustainable growth of the sector. For achieving this, mining companies need to partner with Microsoft and use the company's technology and offerings to solve challenges and reimagine the performance as per the cutting-edge technologies.
What Data Led Mining Entails
The mining sector has a great potential for digital transformation as each of its activities can be reformed and rearranged for optimized performance by using the latest technology. This can be in the form of using predictive sampling in ore exploration, intelligent supply chains, and implementing predictive maintenance. Predictive maintenance plays a huge part in the mining sector as it is instrumental in preventing machinery and equipment breakdowns, leading to savings in both time and costs, and eliminating delays in the mining operations.
The challenges in the mining sector are multiplied in the pandemic situation and it has led to the entire overhauling of the mining sector with digital transformation playing a vital role in changing the way critical processes are implemented. With smart investments in intelligent digital solutions, companies are trying to leverage the power of technology to boost their profits and also benefit the communities that are depending on the mining sector for their survival. Microsoft’s Mining Core addresses all these issues and plays an important part in introducing the latest AI technologies for transforming the mining sector. Below are some of the main advantages that are realized due to the introduction of such technologies:
- With the implementation of technologies like Azure, mining companies realize the power of the cloud to realign their cost and capacity, realizing significant savings in the capital expenses, and greater predictability in the operational expense.
- Implementing Azure in the mining operations results in cost benefits and a positive ROI by realigning the processes that are already put in place.
- With the aid of Azure technologies, automation is used to drive efficiency with the help of robust cloud infrastructure. This ensures great performance and optimized functioning and increases the productivity of the operations with an increase in output.
- Due to the scalable features of the Azure cloud, mining companies can easily scale up or scale down their deployed resources in response to the seasonal demand with minimum downtime.
- Various Microsoft solutions are used to drive productivity and efficiency and digital transformation goals are achieved by migrating to the Azure cloud. As Microsoft boasts of a highly effective partner ecosystem, the services of its various products like Azure are highly aligned with the set growth targets of the mining companies.
- The switch over to the Azure cloud generates tons of data, and this precious resource is used effectively by the mining companies in making data-driven decisions, leading to better operability and sustainable processes with high transparency.
The cloud capabilities of KCS, especially in the form of Microsoft Azure services lead to the efficient storage of critical data crucial to the growth, development, and operations of companies spread globally. Since KCS has the requisite expertise in Azure and other Microsoft products and services, it can aid businesses to become agile, leveraging coding, automation, and AI-enabled technologies.
KCS also helps businesses to slash their operating costs and leveraging networking, software, and analytics plus storage to enable a seamless performance that leads to maximizing ROI. Cloud experts of KCS are equipped to handle cloud applications and development, cloud architecture and design, cloud migration, and offering various SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS platforms for the smooth functioning of businesses.
South Africa is a major market for KCS and we already have executed various projects of importance in the most advanced economy of the African continent. KCS is fully equipped and positioned strategically to offer Azure cloud services to our clientele in South Africa in the form of SaaS, routinely updated by Microsoft. With the help of services like maturity analysis, risk and compliance analysis, implementation, and cloud support services, KCS is looking forward to making forays in the mining sector of South Africa and offer digital transformation solutions geared up to lift the entire sector.
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