2. Digitalization for security
As companies digitalize their operations, the risk of cybercrime against the business becomes an inherent concern. As a result, digital or cybersecurity is one of the themes with maximum implementation across chemicals players, more so in the case of basic and petrochemical companies with their huge production plants.
Chemical players look to develop a robust digitalized business
The wide plethora of technologies enhances the efficiency of chemical functions beginning from R&D to the end of the value chain in customer service and support. In this dynamic environment, the preference and potential of any particular technology depend on the pressing needs and priorities of the organizations. In 2020, the perceived potential by chemical players was highly concentrated on improvement and integration of data analysis (42%), while it is more widely distributed according to the 2022 survey — decreased to 35% for data analysis and increased to 30% for digital security (from 26% in 2020). However, despite this decrease, improved data analysis (35%) and integration (30%) are among the high potential areas for chemical players, followed by digital security (30%) as chemical players face increasing challenges such as data theft and malware which can not only compromise confidential data but also halt operations.
What drives or hinders the success of digitalization in the chemicals industry?
At the beginning of Industry 4.0, cost reduction was perceived as one of the key benefits of digitalization. However, chemical players have moved on from this and benefited from digitalization not only through cost reduction but also through e-networking (53%) and customer centricity (51%) — a trait essential to developing a resilient business in tough times.
As chemical players explore the length and breadth of digital solutions for their business, new challenges emerge. Lack of qualified personnel was a key challenge in 2020 for 47% of survey respondents; however, in the current survey, a little more than one-third cited this as an issue. Currently, companies face challenges to develop a robust technical infrastructure (40%), meeting the investment requirement (38%) and developing secure systems (38%).