5 Minutes With: Dr Roland Busch, CTO of Siemens
O&GME delves beneath the corporate strategy to learn what really makes the industry's leaders tick. This month, Siemens' chief technology officer (CTO) is in the hot seat
What is your opinion of the ‘transformation’ that is taking place in the industry, and how has this impacted Siemens’ dealings with national oil companies (NOCs) like Aramco and ADNOC?
These are our long-time customers. They know their business well, and they realise that they need to change going forward, and that has to be driven by things like operational efficiency. With the oil and gas prices down, the focus on renewable energy is growing. Digitalisation can also drive efficiency. If you take all of this into the equation, there are a lot of dynamic changes happening.
With regional oil companies now becoming energy companies, how will Siemens’ business with these companies be impacted?
Siemens is a company catering to the full spectrum of the energy sector. We also help our clients achieve digitalisation. We have a large software portfolio and we are driving our digitalisation agenda with Mindsphere. Our portfolio can drive productivity for any kind of rotating equipment used in the oil and gas industry. Considering the change that oil and gas companies are looking for, I would say it is very much in our direction.
How does Siemens’ offering address the requirements of the oil and gas industry in the region?
We don’t have oilfield equipment like pumps, but we have expertise in how to optimise value from those. If you have a pump but don’t know how to analyse it, we help you do that. We also develop SCADA systems; we know how to make control systems, and make them cyber-secure. Our approach is data analytics-centred – by way of which, we combine our vertical know-how with our analytic capabilities for our customers. Also, we tap into the expertise of our customers, in areas where we may be lacking, to develop something great.
Given the current wave of mergers and acquisitions, are there potential targets that Siemens is looking to acquire?
We are looking at the whole space. We are comfortable with the portfolio we have, and we are leading in the digitalisation sphere. In the last 10 years, we have invested more than $10bn in that space, and we are looking at smaller add-ons and acquisitions in that sphere, and in domains like manufacturing, where we can get new technologies in those areas. We are open to acquisitions.
How does Siemens address the cyber-security concerns of clients?
We provide a certain level of consultancy. We also provide tools that tell users their vulnerability areas and how they can address these. We have products that you can deploy to secure your operations. You can’t fully prevent hacking, but our systems ensure that we stop those intrusions. We have also developed an information diode that you can connect to a function to prevent the flow of information in one direction. It allows reading, but prevents writing. This negates interference with your assets. When you deploy the diodes, nobody can interfere with your asset, or hack it.