Digitalising the Energy Sector

10 April 2019

Digital Transformation has become a core driver of organisational change in the current era. In the meantime, the Energy industry has played a pivotal role in global economic transformation since the industrial revolution.

Opportunities are abound for the Energy sector to expand its boundaries through digitalisation, as industry players are expecting to see a recovery supported by better economic conditions this year. Oil prices have strengthened to above USD 65 per barrel and are expected to remain fluid in the short term, driven by escalating tension in the Middle East and traders’ position to capture opportunities from rapid movements of oil prices.

To support the Energy industry in their digital transformation, TM ONE has recently hosted an open day forum which discussed Digital Transformation within the Malaysian Energy sector. They were exposed to several innovative technologies, such as the Accelerated Artificial Intelligence (AAI) and Smart Helmet. 85% of the participants, representing various organisations, found that the forum was beneficial to them.

The participants noted that they have already embarked on their organisational digital transformation initiatives, and are gearing up their digital transformation in 2018. The remaining 15%, who are still planning their digital transformation in the next few years, noted that operational challenges such as connectivity and infrastructure, data management, cybersecurity and business processes are the reasons why they are taking some time to implement digital transformation in their own organisation.

Half of the organisations that are yet to implement digital transformation consider it to be important and view it as a priority in 2018, while the rest are looking to explore their organisational Digital Transformation within the next 3 years. For these organisations, their technology priorities for the next 6 to 12 months include Mobility (wearables, handled), Data Centre and Cloud services, Smart services (IoT, Sensors, Smart Building), Collaboration and Safety & Security.

Most Energy companies who are leading the way in digital are devising strategies that enable the convergence of IT and digital innovations with operations technology (OT). They continue to invest in systems to handle huge volumes of data in a fast, secure and flexible way. They are looking at harnessing the power of cloud and mobility to create cost-effective, efficient and safer operating environments.

Development in technologies such as Cloud, Social Media and Big Data & Analytics are driving trends that have immense potential for the Energy sector.

Nonetheless, the Energy industry needs to tackle a series of historic and structural inhibitors, which include data security regulations, standardisation of data collection platforms, integrated ecosystem, realignment of corporate culture and employee mindset, digital talent / workforce empowerment and cybersecurity, to unlock the full potential of Digital Transformation.

Digital enablers, from process digitisation to robotics and automation, can help realise this potential by supporting business processes in dynamic ways. Many new technologies and platforms are available for the Energy industry to exploit and enable themselves to move to the forefront of the digital industrial revolution. Digitally-led transformation initiatives are important levers in creating differentiation and help Energy players to remain financially afloat, and relevant, in their region.

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