The energy industry is tumultuous. Between COVID-19, booms and busts, and historically low prices, 2020 proved to be one of the most frustrating years to date for the industry. Yet, many businesses have positive outlooks for 2021 and beyond because they decided to embrace digital solutions.
Whether you’re upstream, midstream, or downstream, implementing a digital transformation strategy in these five areas will help you sustain success, despite external factors.
- Big data
- Asset management
- Field operations
- Business processes
Effective and forward-thinking digitalization has never been more crucial to the life and vitality of your company.
Big Data = Making Better and More Timely Decisions
The oil and gas industry swims in an abundance of information. However, too many companies don’t have the internal means to parse it effectively. Thus, you need to pursue digital solutions that include the benefits of artificial intelligence and machine learning. By embracing technology that learns as it works, you enjoy the perks of systems that can organize and categorize data without human error.
From there, your people can invest more of their time and energy in data analysis so that leadership can improve the quality of their choices for the short- and long-term health of the business. When implemented at scale, your company can digest increasing amounts of big data as it sees fit. You then have the freedom to act with foresight, secure in the knowledge that your technology has collected and organized the information in ways that benefit your organization.
Asset Management = Knowing the Condition of Your Equipment
Amid the 2020 lockdowns, oil and gas companies kept employees off worksites for fear of transmitting COVID-19. While that was a good decision in terms of public health, it meant losing track of the condition of their physical infrastructure. For an industry so indebted to its capital expenditures, this knowledge gap hurt many businesses.
However, digitized companies could monitor the essential details about operations and the quality of the equipment from socially distanced locations. When you have this available information, you can track the details of your various processes up and down the workstream with greater effectiveness. Additionally, you can maintain the safety and wellbeing of your equipment and staff with increased insight by automating your inspection processes.
Once you have comprehensively implemented the necessary digital processes, you can scale up those efforts with ease. Your people are already comfortable with the practices, and your systems are prepared for expansion.
Field Operations = Streamlining Your Frontline Processes
The pandemic forced the oil and gas industry to use technology and digital operations like never before. That proved a substantial boon to the companies who willingly embraced remote work, video chats, cloud computing, and more. However, as people started returning to the field in Spring 2021, companies want to merge the benefits of the digital workplace with those of having people on-site.
One of the biggest perks of a full-scale digital transformation is that you can integrate and optimize all levels of your business, especially your fieldwork. By learning how people work in conjunction with your data and infrastructure, you can make more timely decisions about the work and how to do it better in the future. Additionally, it can reduce the amount of replicable manual labor that humans do, allowing them to complete more value-additive work regularly.
As your company expands, it’s simple to scale up your workflow efficiency because you did the groundwork of thorough implementations. The more ingrained your digital operations are, the easier it is to onboard new people and set them up for success.
Cybersecurity = Protecting Your Digital Workplace
The more digital technology you add to your company’s operations, the greater your need for thorough cybersecurity protocols. Preventing security breaks increases employee safety, protects your data, and reduces threats from outside infiltration.
As your company grows, you need an IT infrastructure to match. What works for ten people in one office with a couple of wells won’t work for 100 people across multiple offices and field locations. Hiring a third-party IT company to manage your cybersecurity needs when you’re a relatively smaller firm, places you in good hands to protect your company’s privacy.
Business Processes = Creating More Back-Office Efficiency
We’ve now arrived back in the home offices of your company — the place where you might have already used the most technology. But as any office administrator can tell you, the more you invest in digitizing tedious yet essential back-office functions, the easier it will be to extend that same technology across your company.
The proof will be in the pudding. Since C-Suite executives want to see a clear return on investment for their actions, they will appreciate the amount of time, money, and effort the company can save with an efficient office environment. Not only are you actively reducing operating expenses, but you’re improving the quality of your work. Such enhancements prove incredibly beneficial when paired with activities in the field.
Thus, digitizing your back-office tasks provides ample room for scaling up because you’ve accomplished the hard work of getting the company onto a more secure digital footing. You can’t grow and then do this work afterward. It will be much more effective to first ensure your people are comfortable with digital processes and understand how it impacts them day-to-day.
Scaling Your Oil and Gas Company Depends Upon Digital Solutions
You might have noticed that we didn’t mention a single specific digital process, software package, or hardware products. That’s intentional because no one solution will work for everyone. Your needs are specific to your current operations and future growth plans, so implement a complete digital transformation that will work for you and your company alone.
If you’re ready to set up your team for long-term success with a digitalization program that scales up with ease, you should talk to EAG 1Source today. Our IT and back-office outsourcing experts possess decades of experience working exclusively in the oil and gas industry. We will work directly with you and your leadership team to determine the correct answers for your IT needs.