Accenture’s research shows that South African mining companies are struggling to clock sizeable gains from their investments in digital technologies because they have skipped a key step in their digital transformation journeys.
Making the most of their digital investments is particularly important for this sector as a series of economic slowdowns and business disruptions have repeatedly erased significant value from their books. Now, according to Accenture estimates based on Oxford Economics data, business disruptions brought about by COVID-19 could shrink the sector’s value-add output by 3 percent in 2020 alone.
Accenture’s research, developed in collaboration with the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2017, reveals that a combination of seven digital initiatives can help South Africa’s mining industry create ZAR213 billion ($14 billion) in value through 2026. To understand how local mining companies are addressing digitalisation, Accenture conducted a survey of 30 local mining executives in 2019. When we looked at their choices of technology vis-à-vis the value creation opportunity, some striking findings emerged.
Our survey reveals that South African mining companies are likely to miss out on more than a third (ZAR51 billion) of the value-creation opportunity because they have skipped a key step in their digital transformation journeys—they have overlooked investments in key foundational technologies such as advanced analytics and integrated platforms.
Closing the digital value gap
These foundational technologies are vital to enable miners to more completely tap the gains available from the digital technologies already deployed and successfully scale initiatives.
So, what should they do? We examined the best practices adopted by leading mining companies globally and two key insights emerged. Leaders in this sector are:
- Aligning workforce skills to technologies of choice and wisely choose the right channels to fulfil the skills gaps in their organisations.
- Leveraging the entire ecosystem and forge unique collaborations to create value with foundational technologies.