Africa Mining Technology

CIO Perspectives in Mining

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Part of the Collaborative Content Series

Faced with a difficult business environment and the looming effects of digital innovation, mining companies are under tremendous pressure to future-proof their business operations. This pressure places the chief information officer (CIO) at the heart of efforts to digitally transform the business by balancing the need to optimise current technology assets with the need to future-proof the workplace.

We recently hosted an inaugural CIO roundtable, with a focus on mining. Contributors to this roundtable were AngloGold Ashanti CIO Valda Gossman, AECI Acting Group IT Manager Toni Serra, Exxaro Resources CIO Ian Brown, Glencore SA CIO Robin Buchan and Mintek CFO Sakhi Simelane. Our intention was to illuminate the challenges, opportunities and broader environmental constraints facing CIOs in the industry today.

Consequently, we have just published the Mining CIO Roundtable report. In it we found that the mining industry is currently faced with the challenges of new energy paradigms, the disruption caused by new technologies, and an increasingly competitive global mining environment. The race to revisit and review all operating assumptions is now truly on, as executives seek to optimise operations at every level.

The report highlights what the response from CIOs should be to the pressing challenges of the day, from driving data collaboration across the mining value chain, to understanding and reversing long-term technical debt.

Below I have highlighted the key insights discussed in the report. You can read the full report here.

 Key insights:

  • Sourcing plant, equipment and telemetric data for analytics and data mining is a significant challenge as there are no defined guidelines or boundaries regarding data ownership. As a result, there is no single, integrated and unified data portal for use by all stakeholders.
  • Many mining companies have a false sense of security, resulting from investment in non-agile security tools and processes that they’ve relied on for years. CIOs need to understand the external cyber-threat beacon of their organisations and the market value of stolen mining intellectual property.
  • For information technology to help drive business innovation, managing technical debt in mining companies is a necessity. Reversing technical debt is a long-term investment, but if left unaddressed, it can bankrupt a company’s ability to build for the future.
  • CIOs have an often-forgotten third role – beyond running the business of IT and delivering IT to support the needs of the business, they should be leading the charge towards innovation through emerging solutions and technologies to move the organisation towards a more competitive and profitable position.
  • Many mining companies are buying into overpriced systems and processes for a lack of understanding of what they are buying. CIOs need to buy process capabilities as opposed to software and this is what original equipment providers should be focused on.
  • The role of the CIO in promoting and facilitating greater collaboration with key suppliers and technology partners is becoming a catalyst for change. CIOs need to move away from being perceived as overseers and custodians of the “system of record”, and be seen as actively driving, owning and sponsoring better collaboration with suppliers and participants in the value chain and business ecosystem.

About our Collaborative Content Series:

The Deloitte Collaborative Content Series contains points of view created through deliberate and facilitated conversations between our domain experts and selected industry leaders. We believe this to be an ideal mechanism to distill locally relevant and informed perspectives – combining world-class intellectual property with practical, hands-on experience.

Key Contact

Kamal Ramsingh
Africa Technology Leader
Deloitte & Touche
Email: kramsingh@deloitte.co.za

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