Digitalization has impacted all industries at varying levels, and oil and gas is no exception. The importance of digital is increasing in the oil and gas industry partly because of unstable oil prices, but also because companies are looking for new ways to increase productivity, reduce capital costs and boost performance to create more profitable operations.
Historically, organizations within the industry have been technical leaders and pioneers in the use of new technologies to find oil reserves and get them out of the ground as efficiently as possible. However, when it comes to using digital technologies to improve business operations, the industry still has work to do in getting their organizations prepared for the digital future. We need to continue expediting the training of our workforce to support and lead a digitally-enabled future and it’s time we make the move to intelligent connected environments.
Creating a digitally skilled workforce
Digitalization supported by a capable workforce is critical to digital transformation success. And the ability to move industry labor markets from administrative-type work to more complex, value-adding roles thanks to digital technology offers significant opportunity.
The challenge however is the limited accessibility to a digitally skilled labor market and the ability of the organization to develop talent internally and locally.
Digitalization supported by a capable workforce is critical to digital transformation success
Regions such as the Middle East have realized this and have started to adopt nationalization plans to equip nationals with skills to take up newly created digital roles across the oil and gas industry. This is enabled by partnerships between technology-led organizations and academia, creating greater skills development that will invariably enable a reliable local supply of talent for their industries.
Striking the right mix between digital and technical expertise
As technology, automation and big data continue to advance, operators have started to look more into advance analytics and artificial intelligence.
The ability to analyze live data rapidly helps operators make informed decisions that reduce long-term costs and risk to their operations. The challenge however, is connecting previously disparate segments of organizations. Others are also starting to look into artificial intelligence (AI) but are frequently coming across organizational challenges. As assets become more AI-assisted, and work becomes more automated, the culture and landscape of the organization must change. Both senior management and employees need to upskill and move to new roles that utilize their oil and gas knowledge within the new digital framework.