Middle East oil and gas professionals need better integrated risk software: survey reveals

spheraSphera, the provider of Integrated Risk Management (IRM) software and information services, has released the latest results of its annual Process Safety Management/Operational Risk Management survey

Part Two of the 2019 report exposes the need for IRM technology to support planning so companies can implement best practices and significantly increase safety while reducing operational risk in the hazardous industries.

Part One, released in August, identified the executive-level priority for their organisation, but the survey reveals they admit to not doing enough to proactively manage Process Safety consistently. Respondents revealed that 84 per cent of industry leaders surveyed said they believe that safety is part of corporate value structures and supported by senior management.

Part Two confirms digitalisation has become the new norm, but despite good intentions, improvements in industry regulation and investment in technology, these risks can only be addressed if systems are integrated, which produces a holistic view of a company’s risk profile.

In line with last year’s responses, only 40 per cent agree that organisations proactively manage process safety, while 73 per cent said companies are not actively managing risk or driving PSM through the planning process. Perhaps most surprisingly, respondents revealed that, on average, only 66 per cent of monthly safety-critical maintenance is achieved and only one-quarter (23 per cent) believe that full plan attainment is possible.

Simon Jones, Sphera’s director of the Digital Solutions Group for Operational Risk, said, “If companies routinely only complete two-thirds of their planned safety-critical tasks, companies leave themselves exposed to risk.

“Planning and scheduling rarely take into account the full risk picture for asset health and associated maintenance activities. To increase attainment and deliver safe outcomes, companies need to get smarter in the way they manage and maintain the critical barriers and safeguards on their assets.”

Respondents reinforced a need for technology and called for organisations to employ IRM systems to support planning. Now, only 10 per cent of companies have deployed integrated digital solutions, while 75 per cent said they are operating with siloed data.

Scott Lehmann, Sphera’s vice-president of product management for Operational Risk Management, explained, “Siloed systems are the bane of a true digital transformation program. It’s not just a technical challenge—though don’t underestimate that—it’s an organisational one. Companies want integrated systems that can reflect, predict, and share a true picture of the ‘operational reality’. To achieve this, forward-thinking firms are moving toward integrated platform-based systems to analyse data across operations to capture cumulative risk, whilst presenting it in a manner that is practical and tangible for people to do something with it – i.e. actionable insight.”

“In many ways, that’s the holy grail: knowing the cumulative risk across an organisation is what unlocks truly effective planning, prioritisation, and risk management,” Lehmann added.

Once companies achieve greater risk visibility through data, industry leaders are hopeful ORM and PSM risks will be considered in the planning and prioritisation process and will no longer be addressed in isolation. This will help form an integrated strategy that will finally help bridge the gaps.

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
T: +44 20 7834 7676, F: +44 20 7973 0076, W: www.alaincharles.com

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