Smart Technologies and Concerns around IT Security Driving Accelerated IT Investments in the MEA Oil and Gas Sector

March 6, 2014 2:54 pm

IT spending by oil and gas (O&G) companies across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) during 2014 will primarily be driven by ambitious infrastructure investment plans, a desire to modernize operational processes, and the quest to add more value to the services delivered to end users, according to the latest predictions from International Data Corporation (IDC).

O&G organizations in the MEA region continued to accelerate their IT investments in 2013, with 3rd Platform technologies such as cloud computing, Big Data analytics, and mobility gaining significant traction among large oil companies, as well as the more agile firms. And IDC believes that 2014 will be all about how O&G organizations transform their IT strategies to provide increased protection of sensitive data and critical assets, and how they will take advantage of their new 3rd Platform technologies to optimize workflows and reduce operational costs in spite of the relative shortage of specialized IT skills in the region.

Arthur Melet, a senior research analyst at IDC Energy Insights MEA, says: “The biggest stories in 2014 will be about how MEA O&G companies prepare for the so-called ‘Big Crew Change’, how they will include high-potential innovative technologies such as Big Data, analytics, and cloud-based computing within their existing IT strategies, and how they will prepare for upcoming ICT threats such as attacks on industrial control systems.”

Smart O&G technologies, which started to significantly impact the region about 10 years ago, are clearly here to stay, but IDC Energy Insights has begun to notice some changes in the applications of innovative technologies in the industry.

“Many companies are currently trying to go beyond the not-so-new concepts of digital oilfields or integrated operations, initiating a transition toward a more flexible approach that has been referred to as the ‘resilient oilfield’,” says Melet.

“Also, O&G companies are starting to realize the potential value of smart technologies outside of the upstream segment: indeed, we have noticed increased interest among MEA O&G companies for such technologies in the downstream segment, including digital pipeline integrity management systems.”

IDC Energy Insights’ ‘Middle East and Africa Oil and Gas Top 10 Predictions, 2014’ report provides our leading predictions for the O&G industry in the MEA region for 2014. The predictions are based on a wide range of research including surveys of IT decision makers, in-depth interviews with industry executives, vendor briefings, and data from our MEA O&G Industry IT Spending Guide.

The report addresses what IDC Energy Insights sees as dominant trends in 2014, but also extends several years further. The report is designed to be useful for MEA O&G IT and business decision makers, technology vendors, and other market participants that want to focus their activities on the most important IT priorities and developments in the O&G industry.

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