Middle East oil and gas CIOs confront digital transformation hurdles

The Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) spotlights cultural challenges to innovation and management of change processes.

5 industrial iot standing still oil drilling pump
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Technology executives gathering at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) this week are highlighting the stark difference between their desire to embrace emerging technology, and the reality of cultural resistance and slow change in the Middle East’s oil and gas industry.

Though the energy industry at its core depends on technology advances to make its processes more efficient and profitable, the sector remains conservative, reluctant to innovate and wary of the possible risks involved in implementation of emerging tech, said industry insiders at the conference, which ends Thursday.

CIOs in the energy sector have ambitious goals, outlined by speakers during ADIPEC’s Oil & Gas 4.0 Strategic Conference Program. Oil and Gas 4.0 is the industry’s version of the fourth industrial revolution – the combined use of emerging technologies such as AI, the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain and 5G to achieve a fundamental transformation in industrial processes and a jump in productivity. These technologies are emerging in the wake of what is generally considered to be three prior industrial shifts, revolving around the emergence of steam power, electricity, and the modern era of pervasive computers.

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