Digital transformation in the resource and energy sectors: A systematic review
School of Business and Law
The forces of digital transformation have delivered significant benefits like sustainable development and economic growth in a range of early adopter industries such as retail and manufacturing but, despite these potential benefits, the resource and energy sectors have been relative latecomers to digitalization simply because they are frequently slower to absorb new technologies. Here we present the results of a systematic literature review identifying the ways in which digital technologies have been applied in the oil and gas, mining, and energy domains. We applied content and descriptive analysis to evaluate and discuss 151 academic articles selected from the Scopus database. Two particularly interesting trends emerge from the analysis. First, over 75% of the papers were about the energy sector excluding the oil & gas industry, and only a small minority were from the mining or oil & gas sectors. Second, the most frequently discussed objective of digital transformation was the reduction of operational expenses. By surveying the different ways in which these innovations have been used in these industries and identifying trends and patterns in how digital technologies have been applied, the findings of this review deepen our understanding of the current state of digital technologies within the resource and energy sectors and, in so doing, shine a useful amount of light on the contributions that digital transformation has made to businesses in these sectors. This paper also highlights for future scholars, practitioners, and policymakers the six research areas that they should focus on in the future to help the resource and energy sectors accelerate the digital transformation process and improve their ability to deliver value with these innovations.