Splurging money on digitalisation

Survey finds upstream oil and gas companies are spending heavily on digital technologies to drive value and reduce costs during this downturn

NEWS, Industry Trends

As upstream oil and gas companies scrutinise every dollar invested, they’re spending smarter today on digital technologies, seeking to drive value and reduce costs amid low oil and gas prices, a new survey by Accenture and Microsoft Corp reveals. Respondents to the ‘2016 Upstream Oil and Gas Digital Trends Survey’ included international oil companies (IOCs), national oil companies (NOCs), independents and oilfield services firms.

Over the next three to five years, 80% of upstream oil and gas companies plan to spend the same, more, or significantly more (30%, 36%, and 14%, respectively) on digital technologies as they do now, according to the survey, its fifth edition. This continued investment in digital is due to respondents’ confidence that digital technologies can continue to help them drive smarter companies.

More than half (53%) of respondents said digital is already adding high to significant value to their businesses and helping them reduce costs. In addition, respondents reported that making faster and better decisions was the greatest benefit digital technologies can deliver (56%) and that one of the biggest barriers to realising value is the lack of a clear strategy or business case, not the technology.

Today’s digital investments focus more on mobility, with almost three-fifths of respondents (57%) reporting having invested in mobile, compared to 49% of the respondents in last year’s survey. Next is investing in the Internet of Things (IoT) (44%) this year versus 25% in 2015 and the cloud (38%), up 8% from last year. Over the next three to five years, these investments are expected to shift more to big data and analytics (38%), IoT (36%) and mobile (31%).

Sources: Accenture; Microsoft Corp.

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