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7 Factors For Successful Digital Transformation in Oil and Gas

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Diana Davis
Diana Davis

digital transformation

Industry 4.0 promises enormous benefits to oil and gas companies, but it can be difficult to implement. Digital transformation is much more than a technology project. It requires organizational, process, behavioral, and even cultural change.

If you’re just getting started or are struggling with digital transformation, here is some advice from our expert panel at last year's Connected Worker conference in Houston.

#1: Ensure Connectivity

It perhaps goes without saying that you need to enough bandwidth to support all the different devices and systems that you expect to run. But it does need saying because it’s easy to underestimate the challenge.

At Chevron Philips Chemical company, for instance, Jason Gislason, Chief Digital Officer, says that the technological advances of the past couple of years means that more and more bandwidth is needed. That makes connectivity one of their big challenges. He says that Chevron Philips is looking at private LTE networks and 5G to help to support the variety of devices that they use.

At EDF Renewables, on the other hand, Remi Raphael, VP of Digital Transformation, says that remote sites pose a particular challenge. It’s no use sending out an engineer with a connected device if the nearest internet connection is miles away.

Fast and reliable connectivity is an important prerequisite for any digital transformation program.

READ: Connected Workforce: What Oil and Gas Companies Need to Know About Private LTE

#2: Evaluate the Readiness of your Organization AND Technical Systems

Once connectivity is available, the next question is whether your organization and systems are ready for the change. Does the organization believe in the change? Are they asking for it? Are they ready to commit dedicated resources to it?

If not, it will be an uphill struggle to implement any digital device. Users will feel that it has been imposed upon them. Without dedicated resources from the business, the applications that IT develops will not be as relevant and useful to business users.

Similarly, legacy IT systems can pose big challenges to new projects. You need to take an honest look at your company’s technical capabilities before launching into a new project. Chevron’s Gislason says that he will deprioritize projects if the technical capability isn’t in place first. He will also put projects on hold if the business is not ready to commit resources to it.

“If the business isn’t willing to dedicate full-time employees, then we’re not going to do it. If it’s not a good use of their resources, then it’s not a good use of our resources and it’s not in the best interest of the organization,” he explains.

#3: Prioritize

Digital isn’t something that you can do on the side. Nor can you tackle everything at once. It takes dedicated focus to deliver a successful digital transformation. Where will you get the biggest bang for your buck?

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