BY GAVIN YEATES, PRINCIPAL, GAVIN YEATES CONSULTING PTY. LTD.
While interoperability has been a topic of interest to mining companies for over two decades, it is only now that technology has advanced to a point that both enables interconnectedness and allows true interoperability. The interest in interoperability is because mining companies see value in it, thus they believe there is a business case.
A lack of interoperability between systems, processes and data is not unique to the mining industry. Other industries also suffer from a lack of interoperability, and it is recognised that this is not a technology problem, but rather a market failure.
Our inability to interoperate across the value chain is a societal,cultural and organisational problem. Suppliers o en treat system interfaces and data as their property, not their customers. There is a disincentive to share and open up systems, with many suppliers making more money by not sharing. This is an incentive problem and thus a market failure.