Russia is developing “heavy class” software solutions, including for the oil and gas sector. Such software will be designed to replace the software products of companies that have left the Russian market, in particular, Schlumberger and Honeywell.
“Our task is to form system projects for the development of software to meet the critical needs of Russian enterprises,” Interfax quotes a statement by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov on the sidelines of the Tyumen Oil and Gas Forum.
Denis Manturov stressed that “such solutions should be cross-cutting, intersectoral in nature, be in demand by enterprises of related industries.” “The largest leading enterprises in various fields are involved in this work: mechanical engineering, electronics, metallurgy, and the oil and gas industry,” said the Deputy Prime Minister. As an example, he cited oil and gas companies that are actively working, for example, on the development of operational production management technologies, dispatch control systems, and supply chain management systems.
Today, the most important task of the country’s development is digital and information sovereignty, Sergey Pogorelov, Deputy General Director of the Skylit IT company, is sure. According to him, we need our own software for all types of industries in order to remove dependence on foreign IT companies and prevent leakage of the most important confidential information outside of Russia.
For the further development of digital sovereignty, we have everything in our country: specialists, legislation and experience. New “heavy software” must be created immediately with blanks for further export to developing friendly countries. We have a whole layer of IT developments that have not yet been brought to operation, they used to gather dust on the shelves, but now all roads are open to such developments, Sergei Pogorelov told Expert.
As was discussed at the last St. Petersburg International Gas Forum, now in this area there is not enough a single source of request for the development of one version of software, and not several from different companies, Mikhail Ivanov, head of the SimbirSoft IT company branch in St. Petersburg, noted in a commentary to Expert. Creation of cooperation between customers and cooperation between developers can significantly speed up the development of such software and allow you to collect more functionality into a single IT system.
The second important aspect of the development of such software, Mikhail Ivanov believes, is the need to create a specialized committee, a center of expertise on the part of the customer. In most cases, IT professionals only have knowledge within their technology stack. Therefore, in order to obtain the best solution in a short time, it is important to have a certain center of competence, in which all the expertise of the industry will be concentrated. Programmers create software and are directed and managed by industry experts.
In general, preparations for import substitution in the country began quite a long time ago. But if an oil and gas company used one system of a foreign company, it will have to be replaced in full with domestic software in several stages, which can take a long time. Although the oil and gas industry has the opportunity to replace foreign software with Russian, including through the use of machine learning, Mikhail Ivanov admitted.
The situation differs by industry
Most Russian industrial enterprises worked on ready-made solutions developed by foreign IT companies, Nikita Dontsov, a political scientist and head of the Influence communication group, told Expert. Now, in the face of sanctions pressure on Russia, many companies restrict access to their software for users from our country, including due to the inability of Russians to pay for paid versions of programs.
But the positive is that Russia now has an excellent opportunity to gain independence from the software of the largest Western players, which immediately left the Russian market without supply, with large unsatisfied demand. Their market share in the coming year will be completely occupied by domestic developers – now is a great time for them, Dontsov is sure.
The situation may vary depending on the industry, Olga Sokolova, partner of the Digital Guru agency, noted in an interview with an Expert correspondent. For example, in the market of social media analytics and information technology in general, there is a problem with the replacement of foreign software, but it is not so acute. Yes, few people expected that world services could so abruptly stop supporting and generally working with Russian companies. But Russian analogues of foreign services and software were either already on the market (although they were not as well known as, for example, Yandex.Disk, MyOffice and others), or appeared on the market this spring, or announced their plans to enter the market in very soon.
The situation is different in the same oil and gas industry, and in general in the extractive sector as a whole, the expert stated. Here, most companies have been using foreign software, foreign solutions and foreign consultants for years. Often with expensive imported equipment, some other software? other than foreign? just not allowed to use it.
“And here, for a full-fledged replacement of foreign solutions, I think it will take much more time, most likely several years. As I understand it, it will not be possible to simply switch to analogues from friendly countries. Often there are simply no such analogues. And we see that some companies are already talking about shifting the launch dates for new projects. For example, Novatek is shifting the launch date. Including due to difficulties with special equipment and software, which we do not have in the country yet,” Olga Sokolova noted.
You need to switch to yours urgently
As Dmitry Kornachev, executive director of the Consortium of Enterprises in the Sphere of Automotive Electronic Devices and Telematics, told Expert, auto electronics and the automotive industry in general are technologically complex industries that cannot work without software. Software solutions are used literally everywhere, from computer-aided design of microcomponents to process control on conveyors.
“We cannot allow a situation where we are immediately disconnected from the existing software. Therefore, for the sustainability of the industry, it is critically important to urgently switch to Russian developments. Unfortunately, today in Russia there are practically no analogues that could replace foreign solutions. Therefore, we must direct all resources there – to the development of competitive domestic software, ”the expert emphasized.
Of course, creating “heavy” software is much more difficult than developing custom programs or applications. Such developments require serious financial investments and human resources. And here I would like to count on the support of the state, which is striving for the formation of technological sovereignty, Dmitry Kornachev concluded.