Speed, Transparency, and Empowerment: Cloud Is What Oil and Gas Needs
Cloud computing brings its advantages and benefits to multiple fields outside of software development. Read about how the oil industry uses cloud.
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Cloud computing is rolling into the oil and gas sector and bringing the unprecedented speed of innovation into an industry that is thirsty for change. The technology has addressed security concerns that previously held back adoption of cloud-based systems and is rewarding pioneering companies with the transparency to revolutionize their antiquated, on-premise systems.
Today, “62% of businesses in the oil and gas industry are employing cloud-based managed security services to help integrate, manage and improve cybersecurity and privacy,” according to PwC’s Global State of Information Security Survey 2017. The majority of these services are used for “data loss prevention, monitoring and analytics, and authentication.”
Take GE Oil & Gas, for example: the service provider to oil and gas companies moved 350 of its applications to Amazon’s cloud offering, AWS, over the course of two and a half years. GE found that the total cost of ownership of running its enterprise applications on the cloud rather than through local systems provided saving of 52% on average. This has become a common story in the sector’s most progressive companies.
The industry is now at a turning point where all ambitious oil and gas companies must start demanding more from their technology vendors in order to remain competitive. They must look beyond expensive, outdated on-premise data-storage investments and begin to trust in cloud computing. Much like government and financial institutions have, oil and gas must shed its inhibitions with cloud and understand how SaaS software is compliant and secure. By realizing this, they can begin to unleash the untapped potential that secure cloud-based operational systems can deliver.
Speed of Innovation
Oil and gas firms have long been committed to developing space-age technology in the field; however, a deeper a look at the underbelly of software systems shows a suspiciously low number of upgrades over the last decade.
In fact, many features that oil and gas vendors have promised since the early 2000’s have still not been realized in 2018. The all-too-typical story is one of lengthy delays where IT departments within oil and gas companies are have long struggled to implement cloud-based systems. This poor transparency between departments results in highly fragmented data and leads to huge inefficiencies.
Transparency Across Departments
Cloud-based systems benefit nearly every element of an oil and gas firm. For example, let’s consider chemical resupply alone. Currently, processes are very manual, take a lot of resources and the fragmentation of information wastes time across a number of departments.
When companies switch to cloud-based software, the processes now take much less time. The faster information is available, the more quickly oil and gas companies can spin up new ideas, initiatives, and innovations. This is a competitive edge unattainable when organizations are confined by their own data centers.
For firms that switch to new software vendors, those actually offering cloud computing, they can quickly migrate chemical resupply and other operational systems. When they do, the issues with their previous system rise to the surface. Paper-based invoices, for example, are produced at a later time, which slowly make their way to relevant stakeholders, such as accounting and administrative services, or those involved in putting together environmental impact assessments (EIA).
By implementing systems that promote visibility and transparency among departments, not only does the level of productivity increase across departments but so does trust. A key part in a company’s digital landscape.
By simply arming the field workers with accurate, real-time data via cloud computing, the firm was able to significantly reduce the costs associated with such processes. In the case of chemical resupply, for example, the field worker would have access to actual chemical levels vs usage on the spot. Now the field worker essentially becomes the CFO of their own operation, able to make better decisions as they can see planned versus actual usage and historical information. They’re making informed decisions, which enriches their job as well as the company’s overall performance.
The field worker is now enabled to make these continuous operational decisions, in doing so they can bring about the efficiencies that will free up financial and human resources within the company. The chemical resupply example is just the tip of the iceberg when considering the operational benefits of cloud computing. Processes throughout the oil and gas business can benefit from giving real-time data visibility to the people who need it most.
To bring about these improvements in their own companies, oil and gas executives must look past their on-premise investment issues and focus on the speed of innovation. By setting up cloud infrastructures, oil and gas companies can capture, store, and analyze data on a much larger scale than is possible with on-premise deployment. It also enables real-time sharing of trusted data between departments and into the field, thereby laying the foundation for data age technology to revolutionize oil and gas operations.
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