Special Report: Digital transformation

The Middle East and GCC petrochemical industries are on par with global leaders in undergoing digital transformation, observes Dr Hichem Maya, Head of Industries, SAP MENA.

Dr Hichem Maya, head of industries, SAP MENA.
Dr Hichem Maya, head of industries, SAP MENA.

In the face of market shifts, eroding customer loyalty, and low-cost competitors, the Middle East chemical industry is tasked with integrating acquisitions, reducing complexity, and fighting commoditisation. In response, CIOs of the Middle East chemical companies are seizing the opportunity to invest in technology and emerge more agile.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE are the leaders in digital transformation in the region, especially with Saudi Vision 2030 aiming to enhance the industry’s competitiveness in the country.

Worldwide, 94 percent of chemical companies believe that digital transformation can enhance competitiveness, and 58 percent are embracing digital transformation, according to one recent industry survey. With a digital core, Big Data analytics and Internet of Things solutions, chemical companies can transact in real-time, predict and simulate business outcomes and maintenance, increase agility, and deliver a consumer-quality user experience.

SAP is co-innovating with the leading Middle East and global chemical companies to integrate operational technology and information technology. One of the biggest opportunities is in the Industry 4.0 ecosystem – with the Industrial Internet Consortium helping to drive global standards in the Industrial Internet and controlling the value chain, such as with the rise in artificial intelligence, drones, robotics and 3D printing.

The Middle East customers of SAP include Kuwait’s Equate for cloud-based learning solutions, Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) for digital transformation and Petro Rabigh in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on an integrated human resources solution. On the global level, SAP customers include Invista on ERP and Huntsman on cloud-based customer pricing.

In the oil and gas field, SAP is similarly driving the Middle East energy innovation with co-innovation partnerships with leading energy firms such as ADNOC in the UAE, Kuwait Petroleum in Kuwait and Nakilat in Qatar. Through digital transformation, oil and gas firms can safely maximise production, invest the right resources in the right projects and cut costs, while enhancing value.

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