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90% of industry leaders agree that digitalisation is key for Oil & Gas industry

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In Sphera’s third annual Operational Excellence Index (OEI) survey report, the company revealed that almost all industry leaders agree on the importance of digitalisation, but challenges still prevented full integration in to many operations.

90% of industry leaders surveyed said that digital transformation would help them achieve operational excellence in a sustainable way. This has changed from 2017, when only 73% said the same. 

90% of industry leaders believe in the importance of digitalisation, however over half believe their companies are not doing enough, highlighting the need for technical specialists to disrupt the industry
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Also in this year’s survey, 73% of respondents said that operational excellence was the key objective of their digital transformation plans. In doing so, 55% hoped to reduce operational risks, while another 55% listed approved asset availability and uptime as a key focus.

Paul Marushka, Sphera’s President and CEO, said: “As the third-annual Operational Excellence Index shows, digital transformation is upon us. As companies look for new ways to keep their people safe, their operations productive and their products sustainable, being able to tap into and monitor data from Industry 4.0 solutions will be a major differentiator for organisations looking to separate themselves from the competition. It’s not surprising that 90% of respondents agree that digital technology will accelerate operational excellence. We couldn’t agree more. Sphera believes digital is the wave of the future for operational risk mitigation.”

On current practices, the survey said: “Looking at the way technology is leveraged today; 58% say it delivers key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics that reflect the operational reality.

“A further 45% say it improves prioritisation and planning, while 44% say it delivers predictive analytics that keep assets up and running.”

Going forwards, 75% believe that digital technology would “create new, insight-driven business processes across various functions.” Three technologies were seen as key to this: digital twins used to simulate scenarios for planning and decision-making (cited by 70% of respondents), “actionable insights” created by connecting disparate data and siloed systems (69%), and analytics used to help better understand where to make operational improvements (65%).

However, recognition of the importance of digital transformation doesn’t necessarily translate to real-time usage. 53% commented that their company “is still trying to figure out what digital transformation means to them”.

“This is perhaps to be expected when digitalisation and digital transformation can be interpreted in different ways”, Sphera noted in the report.

“There can be a disparity of perspectives within an organisation as to what its digital ambitions are - or should be. For some, digitalisation involves tweaking at the edges and automating standard, paper-based processes (the paper-on-glass approach). For others, it’s a far more disruptive force that will impact the entire business and operating model. For many, it is something in between.”

Sphera believe that the biggest obstacles to this are corporate culture, budget and a lack of digital expertise.

“There is something of a vicious circle at play here. Without digital expertise, for example, the culture is unlikely to change.”

The report will be eye-opening for many, driving the most-forward thinking companies to review their approach to digitalisation and re-assert the importance of hiring technical professionals with expertise in this field to help them achieve sustainable operational excellence.

“[The report] points to the absolute necessity of effective leadership as the cornerstone of digital transformation projects.”

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