Intelligent CIO Middle East Issue 23 - Page 88

INTELLIGENT ENERGY Countering threats and enabling transformation in the industry by Gregg Petersen, Regional Sales Vice President, MEA, Veeam Software. Gregg Petersen, Regional Sales Vice President, MEA, Veeam Software Ensuring ‘Availability’ for energy sector in the Middle East – Risks and rewards as natural resources go digital P erhaps more than any other industry, oil and gas companies in the Middle East face overwhelming pressure to cut costs and increase operational efficiency. As natural resources prices remain low, incremental efficiency improvements can have a huge impact on profitability. But cost-cutting and efficiency drives aren’t the industry’s sole focus. Digital transformation is still 88 INTELLIGENTCIO very high on the agenda for oil and gas companies looking for the next competitive advantage. Investments in cloud and IoT technologies are increasing rapidly, creating new opportunities – and exposing companies to new Availability threats. Oil and gas companies also rely heavily on numerous third-party business partners and they need to assess and monitor these partners’ data protection standards to ensure 24.7.365 Availability of critical data and services. Maintaining visibility and control over extended partner networks and complex IT environments can be a real struggle without the right tactics and tools. Although these issues present significant challenges there are a number of ways that companies can overcome them. Harnessing the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) IoT technologies are bringing oil and gas companies new opportunities to develop advanced exploration, production and operations capabilities. But the proliferation of connected endpoints will also increase data protection risks – and jeopardise the Availability of vital data. To mitigate these risks, most organisations have focused their efforts on endpoint protection and