Market dynamics in the energy industry have been changing rapidly as key drivers such as the economic cycle and oil supply are impacted by various international conflicts. To be more adaptable to these constant changes in operating conditions, energy companies are transforming with inspiration from trends such as electrification, digitalization and decentralization. Regardless whether you’re in oil, gas, renewables or power generation, now is the time to work smarter to meet your energy transition goals.
What it means to work smarter with digitalization
Working smarter in energy means being more data-driven, resilient, productive and efficient. This enables you to make smarter investments, optimize asset utilization, and ensure profitability, sustainability and competitiveness. Digitalization is a key enabler of many new ways of working and we’ll take a closer look at five tips for leveraging these to work smarter.
Create a single source of truth in the cloud
A cloud-first approach backed by secure, high-performance infrastructure can help you create a single source of truth. This allows your employees to collaborate remotely and perform activities such as maintenance preparation and planning from anywhere in the world at any time. It’s smarter to make your data available securely from anywhere to avoid data silos and enable collaboration.
For example, this single source of truth supports decentralization in oil and gas by allowing offshore staff to securely access and manage onshore rig data. It also streamlines the Management of Change (MOC) process, allowing stakeholders such as engineering, operations, maintenance, and safety teams to connect, share, and validate important information. All of this improves efficiency, employee retention and teambuilding.
Set up end-to-end workflows
Did you know that the average worker navigates between seven systems to complete one workflow? That one workflow can be completed in just one system by digitalizing and consolidating all related tasks into one place. This is called an end-to-end workflow. It’s smarter to avoid switching between application windows and instead complete a workflow in one place.
For instance, your staff could receive a customer grid connection request, view grid data, perform all the necessary calculations and generate the quote – all without having to switch windows. System consolidation into end-to-end workflows can both reduce employee fatigue and cut software licensing costs.
Ensuring the digital tools your organization uses are as easy to use as possible should not be underestimated. User-friendliness means that the user experience (UX) empowers your employees to learn how to use an app, perform tasks, and collaborate more efficiently. It’s smarter to work together when everyone is on the same page in a user-friendly app.
For example, a report dashboard for simultaneous operations or emissions reports that makes it easy to find and interpret exactly the right data faster can greatly improve productivity. User-friendly tools also make it possible to align around a shared understanding of workplace situations and common operational processes across your organization.
Automate repetitive tasks
Repetitive tasks like data entry and report creation may have been seen as a necessary part of the job before. But now the latest software with the right underlying cloud infrastructure can automate these types of repetitive tasks better than ever before. It’s smarter for employees to focus on activities that are both more stimulating and add more value to your business.
For example, you could automate the process of collecting, standardizing, and consolidating intelligent sensor data and also automate generating and sharing recurring reports based on this data with the right stakeholders. This reduces human error, saves time and improves employee engagement, as people get to focus more on work they enjoy doing.
Unlock smarter insights
Digital tools increase the quality of data by filtering out bad data sources and inputs. Combining this improved data quality with machine learning enables you to generate smarter insights into your data. With these insights, it’s possible to adopt a more data-driven mindset across your organization and plan maintenance, investments and operations more efficiently. It’s smarter to fix something proactively before it breaks than afterwards reactively.
For example, you could pinpoint where to invest in your power grid to prevent future outages with digital twin simulations. Or you could identify the optimum time to perform maintenance on rig machinery – not too soon to be done unnecessarily and not too late for a breakdown to occur. This prescriptive analytics approach can mitigate potential bottlenecks, identify inefficiencies, and reduce downtime, all ultimately resulting in significant cost savings and optimized operations.
Ready to take the leap into the cloud?
Digitalization and cloud technology are key enablers for all of these smarter ways of working. Energy companies that are smart about the technology they choose stand to gain an edge in productivity, competitiveness, cost efficiency, employee engagement, and so much more. In fact, a supermajor we spoke with found that working smarter can reduce up to 70% of operational inefficiencies.
Before you take the leap, you may be wondering how to manage your data in the cloud and whether the cloud is really secure enough – it is, if you choose the right partner and architecture.