Four of five mining and metals companies globally, including in India, expect to increase their spending on digital technologies like Cloud computing and data security over the next three years, a new Accenture survey said on Friday.
With more than one-quarter (28 per cent) of such firms planning significant investments, almost half (46 per cent) cite digital as the biggest contributor to innovation, the findings showed.
"Our research confirms that mining and metals companies are investing in digital-led innovation to help them improve operational efficiency, and address issues such as rising capital as well as compliance costs,' said Sandeep Dutta, Managing Director and Lead, Resources, Accenture in India.
Based on a survey of approximately 200 mining and metals executives and functional leaders worldwide, the "Digital Technology in Mining" report shows that the convergence of information and operational technologies (IT/OT) and adoption of cloud computing are advancing the digital agenda, prompting the need for more-stringent cybersecurity measures.
The respondents were from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China/Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Singapore, South Africa, the United States and United Kingdom.
Mining and metals executives said their companies have applied and will continue to apply digital technology over the next three to five years predominantly in mine operations, but also in exploration, mine development and other areas.
Most of the investments in mining operations target robotics and automation, named by 54 percent as a top spending area, along with remote operating centres, drones and wearable technologies, each at 41 percent.
Digital transformation could actually unlock $190 billion in value industry wide over the next 10 years, according to an analysis by the World Economic Forum with Accenture Strategy.
Asked to identify the top three barriers to gaining more business value from digital technologies, executives most often cited cybersecurity concerns (37 percent), followed by volatile commodity prices (29 percent), internal data management capability (27 percent) and lack of funding (27 percent).
"Although still in the early stages, mining and metal companies in India are starting to adopt large scale platform solutions, which is driving the growth of cloud in this segment," said Saurabh Bhatnagar, Managing Director, Mining and Metals, Resources, Accenture in India.
"Even as companies evaluate their cloud strategy, they are starting to consider potential cyber security risks, creating mitigation strategies in advance," Bhatnagar added
Four in five respondents (81 per cent) said their companies have implemented some form of public, private or hybrid Cloud, and another 17 per cent said their company is exploring the use of Cloud technology.