Overcoming challenges for digital transformation success

The last few years have seen rapid change across every industry as organizations seek to digitize all or parts of their operations. And there’s every indication that the digital transformation will continue to evolve and grow. Tony Nitchov, Managing Director, Global Consulting at Advisian Digital explores the challenges of digital transformation and how laying the right foundation is critical to digital transformation success.

Digital transformation success

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.

Making the move to cloud storage

It’s likely that the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics will continue to gain almost exponential traction in the coming years and to facilitate these heavy-duty technologies, organizations will need to make the move to cloud storage.

Cloud storage unlocks the kind of processing power that is needed to implement AI, mental augmentation and physical automation. And when you consider the continually falling costs of processing, the days of private servers with limited adaptability are well behind us.

It’s likely that the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics will continue to gain almost exponential traction in the coming years 

Following the move to cloud storage, the next step is to connect data to intelligence.

By moving to cloud storage and connecting data through intelligence, operators can unlock the power of AI, machine learning and predictive analytics to optimize the performance of their assets by increasing equipment efficiency and uptime while reducing operating and maintenance costs.

Whilst it is clear cloud storage can offer immense benefit to industry, it is equally critical that organizations address the invariable security concerns that this strategy brings and implement a thorough cloud security strategy prior to transitioning to cloud services.

Unlocking the value of digital

The case for going digital is compelling but challenges remain in finding appropriate ways to do this without falling into the pitfalls that cause digital transformation programs to fail.

As well as knowing how technology can be applied, organizations also need reliable partners to support them in developing their workforce and creating a sustainable digital culture to unlock the full value of the digital promise.

We help our clients navigate the digital landscape by staying ahead of the curve, assessing and trialing leading-edge technologies and implementing fit-for-purpose digital strategies to improve efficiency. We understand the ’what’ and ‘why’ of digital and through our engagement, we can advise and direct the ‘how’ to make it happen. Not many organizations can say that. Our point of difference is that we are not just defining digital but enabling it. The future really excites us.

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