Agricolture and DT, Digital transformation
This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)
If you are looking for what it DT means, “Digital Transformation”, you’ll discover that Wiki describes it as something quite ubiquitous and pervasive, it delivers data, connects things, calculates algorithms, produces results and so on. For me, in practice, I like to think that DT is actually a path that some companies are taking to obtain a competitive advantage and that this does not require being pervasive but linked, at least at an early stage, to some specific activities that better than others lend to transformation.
I also like to think of DT as the process that often takes place after a phase of consolidation of the IT technologies used in companies. A time when the availability of some digital information is a fact. This is when we start thinking about how to use the generated or owned data and how we ask how its different calculation requires its use on budget profitability and business growth.
Furthermore, DT is envisioned by those who are primarily involved in technology or services related to services, while I think it was less related to agriculture.
However, the scenario is changing very quickly and the DT is entering agriculture much faster than it has in the past, although it is often ignored.
Some signs seem obvious to me. In particular, the fact that with each generational change, the next generation brings with it more culture and new models. The new generations of farmers not only qualify as agronomists in a technical institute, but often face university courses. Paths often “contaminated” by auxiliary cultural elements in the agricultural field, related to economics, marketing or even engineering.
The farmer could, even if linked to lands and seasons more then the “quarters” of the stock market, be increasingly readily available to evaluate and use new technologies. In fact, only a culture that is more factual and close to typical agricultural work makes DT a more accessible topic to experiment and to hypothesize to innovate the process and mixing reusing old’s own.
Hence to imagine that farmers are the champions of DT, it is excessive, but in my opinion the agricultural ecosystem is particularly suitable for evolution in this direction.
There are many examples of DT, from greenhouses that increasingly control their ecosystems and calculated data for the dosage of nutrients or pesticides, analyzing drone images to control the life cycle of crops and anticipate corrective interventions and so on.
Each of these activities is functional to a better yield of the products or all the advantages in terms of costs to spend less and obtain greater profits for each growth / harvest cycle.
The bet in my opinion is very relevant throughout Europe, our continent, a cause of its agricultural fragmentation (necessary in evolution) with a large number of family-run farms is the most fertile ground for development towards DT. Among so many companies, it is easier to find those that are economically more solid and sensitive to these changes and improvements, improvements and efficiency.
Furthermore, the wealth of cases and varieties present in the ecosystems of some European regions is an element of value as it is equipped to imagine many different hypotheses and solutions. With numerous experiments, the cases of better and more profitable are perfected, triggering the virtuous spiral that makes things happen.
These elements must therefore be redesigned for companies that require innovation and DT in the agricultural sector in the construction of solutions that can be acquired by the market.
The solutions to generate good volumes and profits, in my opinion, must be “all in one”. Sellers must not expect those who have always cultivated with traditional techniques to become something else or change into something they are not.
If we want to make a comparison with the world of high technology, we have to imagine putting a DT solution in agriculture, similar a lot to the process of buying a printer for the office. The solution must be efficiently “distributed”, be identifiable and find a place or almost on the shelf of a distributor.
Must allow our farmer to an equivalent maintenance as for all consumable parts and have a network of dealers to support configuration and simple repairs.
Furthermore, the solutions must be able to work offline even in case of problems with access to external resources because even if Europe has one of the best qualities of network coverage, we are still referring to rural areas. The cloud for the agricultural world needs a cache but maybe we will talk about it later in the future. 🙂