Key sectors of the Russian economy will be helpless without foreign programs

Key sectors of the Russian economy are at risk of being useless without foreign software - modern equipment used by Russian enterprises, oil and gas wells, and even agriculture can stop without support from foreign copyright holders. Russian counterparts cannot even partially replace foreign programs, due to their inferiority, Bloomberg notes .

Russia's reliance on foreign software to manage factories, farms and oil fields is turning into a giant headache for domestic industry as more IT companies pull out of the market in response to President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

The departure of suppliers of equipment, machine tools and production lines is often not as dangerous in terms of consequences as the absence of software for these units. Analyst for Russia at IDC Elena Semenovskaya notes that the search for alternatives to foreign software is becoming a key problem for the Russian industry, which will face development difficulties.

“Russian counterparts are an order of magnitude weaker, and the need for them is extremely high. Many companies see old or pirated software as a way out, but that's a road to nowhere,” she says.

High-tech industries, in principle, cannot rely on such solutions, says Sergey Dunaev, CIO of Severstal. The quality of some products is zeroed out at errors of hundredths of a millimeter, such "minor" defects make an expensive product completely useless, he notes. Almost all Russian industries face similar problems, the agency notes.

It will be especially difficult for the Russian oil and gas industry: the exodus of foreign companies has left Russian oil and gas concerns without complex exploration and production programs. Russian analogues can hardly cover only 5-10% of the demand, said First Deputy Minister of Energy Pavel Sorokin. At the same time, without looking for alternatives, Russia will face a rapid collapse in oil production, since most of the wells in the country are already hard-to-recover, it is simply impossible to develop them without modern technologies.

“Ultra-complex software for seismic, reservoir modeling, drilling and hydraulic fracturing will not be needed if we do not have the equipment for all these processes,” Sorokin said during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

Even meat production runs the risk of problems due to dependence on foreign software. The agency cites the industrial capacities of the RusAgro holding as an example. Chairman of the Board Maxim Basov during the SPIEF admitted that the holding does not have a plan "B" in case the supplier of production management software at the company's plants leaves.

No less severe consequences are expected in the field of telecommunications and communications. The agency notes that after the leaders in the field of communications leave the Russian market, the Russian industry is striving to at least maintain what has been achieved, but there is no talk of any further development of the industry. Moreover, the speed of mobile Internet in Russia has already begun to fall , and the largest companies are forced to revise their equipment in order to maintain the level of communication at an acceptable level. There is no talk of an accelerated transition to 5G.

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