Managing a railroad’s massive set of mobile resources in a wired world doesn’t make sense anymore. While that was the only choice until a decade ago, the ubiquitous deployment of both private and commercial wireless data services affords each railroad the opportunity to substantially advance its operating practices now … and to do so independent of the pursuit of PTC. However, there is one primary reason why such a transition is not underway. Neither the railroads nor the suppliers have incorporated the necessary skill set in their management ranks to deliver Strategic Railroading, to deliver an operations strategy in sync with a technology strategy.
The technicians know their technologies, the business analysts know their finances, and operations know their processes. But, no one is looking to bring these disciplines together in a holistic fashion that increases efficiencies not only within individual departments, but across the railroads … and across the industry. Railroads and suppliers alike need Technologists.