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Digital technologies are recognized as adding value to upstream oil and gas companies by helping them reduce costs, make faster and better decisions, and increase workforce productivity, according to a March Accenture survey.

The digital investment today is focused on mobility and the Internet of Things (IoT), with analytics and IoT predicted to lead the way over the next three-five years. To begin with, oil and gas companies are increasingly leveraging cloud technologies to more rapidly unlock the value of other digital technologies—especially analytics, IoT and mobility.

The fastest growth areas are predicted to be in Artificial Intelligence, robotics, drones and wearables, the report said. Over half (53%) of the respondents believe digital technologies have added high (36%) to significant (17%) value, while 72% of the respondents believe cost reduction is an important (27%) or the most important (45%) challenge digital can help address.

Despite the low oil price environment, the report said, the majority of oil and gas companies will continue to invest at least the same amount or more in digital technologies over the next three-five years. However, to realize the maximum benefits of digital, companies will need to rapidly improve their capabilities, including maturity in analytics, the report added.

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