Miners are digital dalliers: Axora report

Axora’s second international survey of mining company leaders suggests a “lack of market knowledge” about new products ranks near cybersecurity concerns as a barrier to faster digital transformation in the industry.

The UK-based firm’s 2022-23 Innovation Forecast report, focused on digital transformation in mining, says while 100% of the 160 decision makers surveyed agreed technology and innovation are critical to their organisation’s survival, only 53% of respondents describe their organisation’s progress towards deploying a digital/technology transformation strategy as “advanced”.

Nearly three-quarters of Axora survey respondents indicated analytics and sensors, cloud-based platforms, and automation and semi-automation technologies, were the focus of current tech spend. IoT, machine learning, AI and digital twins were also nominated by close to 70% of participants as high-priority deployment areas.

The report said cybersecurity concerns were a barrier to higher investment and faster transformation for 44% of respondents; “lack of vision into the potential for digital solutions” was identified by 41% as a problem.

The same percentage said lack of IT infrastructure to handle data generated by digital solutions was a barrier, while “lack of market knowledge in new solutions” also garnered 41% support.

Axora said the barriers contributed to only 60% of budgets allocated to digital/technology transformation – on average – actually being spent. “In other words, 40% of budgets remain on the table,” it said. “This is relatively consistent across the geographies and company sizes we surveyed.”

The report says that despite the digital transformation survival imperative agreed by mining company respondents – “[and] we are talking about the success or failure of some of the world’s largest organisations – its survey feedback indicates miners are having to work hard to overcome obstacles, “including some that one might have thought would be eliminated by now”.

 

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