Accenture, Microsoft release 5th upstream digital trends survey

IT spend remains strong(ish), on mobile, IoT and the cloud. But where did cyber security go?

Microsoft and Accenture have released their 2016 survey (the fifth) of Upstream oil and gas digital trends. Despite the downturn, the survey found that 80% of the respondents plan to spend the same or more on digital technologies over the next three years. 53 % said that digital is already adding ‘high to significant’ value to their businesses. Cost reduction was identified as the ‘biggest challenge that digital technologies can most address today’ (sic). Also key was digital’s enablement of ‘faster and better decision making.’ On the downside, the main barrier to realizing the value is ‘the lack of a clear strategy or business case’ rather than the technology. Today’s digital investments focus more on mobility, 57% report investment in mobile. Next up is the internet of things (44%) and the cloud (38%). The next three to five years ‘should see a shift to big data and analytics.’ Penn Energy Research, in partnership with the Oil & Gas Journal, carried out the survey of worldwide upstream professionals including engineers, geologists and mid-level and executive management.

We asked Accenture’s Rich Holsman why there was no mention of IT security in the study. Here is his response. ‘Clearly, we see cybersecurity as a major threat and as a priority. In fact 44% of the respondents told us that IoT/cyber security was something that they are investing in today. But this was reported as an IoT investment. So the IoT number actually includes cyber security. You make a good point and we will clarify the situation in the online results.’

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