The Oil & Gas Industry, and the Energy Sector in general, is frequently affected by major swings in commodity prices. Operational excellence in every aspect of the business is a strategic business priority for the upstream oil and gas industry.
Gartner Research reported that the demand is skyrocketing for digital technologies capable of:
- Accelerating the completion of major capital projects
- Improving the efficiency of high-cost, seismic modeling
- Organizing the information on operating assets
- Integrating planning and optimizing operations.
(see Source 1 below for more information)
It is no surprise that energy sector heavy weights, such as BP and Chevron, are turning to agile Cloud Service Providers, like Microsoft Azure for help achieve some of these goals. This demand is resulting in multi-year and multi-million dollar contracts with significant implications for both sides. (see Source 2 and Source 3 below for more information).
What if your energy company’s IT budget is not in the multi-millions. Should you ignore the Cloud? Can companies large and small benefit from Cloud by following a methodical process?
On this question I agree with Kadri Umay’s direction. Kadri is the Director of Industry Product Strategy at Microsoft and in an article summarized the way energy companies should look at their Cloud and IoT investments (see Source 4 below for more information):
While looking at Cloud, companies should start with the end in mind and set their strategic rationale. There must be a target, a monetary one, that will move the needle for the business. Without this strategic rationale, it is impossible to gather the resources and get the project off the ground.
Next comes picking a use-case and identifying the scope of the undertaking. Without a clear use case to focus the effort on and to measure progress, many projects end-up getting lost in the shuffle. The scope can be a single, major computation project, one that can yield significant operational efficiencies by incorporating Cloud resources. For example, at UberCloud we see computer aided optimization projects heading to the Cloud and believe their laser sharp focus makes them a great candidate to show successful bottom line results.
Finally, a word of caution about the need to start with a proof-of-concept. Energy companies should consider a technology review and perform a proof-of-concept, before dedicating resources and time to their Cloud projects. A quick proof-of-concept, can identify gaps early on and set the project team up for success. Our experience at UberCloud shows a few weeks of concentrated effort in conducting a well defined, small-scale project is invaluable.
Sources and Additional Information:
- Kadri Umay on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kadriumay/