The changing face of energy

Putting information to work to define the future of the industry

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Worldwide demand for energy is growing faster than ever, leading to rapid changes in the energy industry and in the wider world beyond. Deloitte predicts companies in the oil and gas sector in 2020 will be “walking the tightrope,” and need to keep vigilant for both risks and opportunities. PwC says the sector faces a “big change… [that] may mean changing a corporate mindset and culture and possibly acquiring new skills altogether.”

While energy companies must continue to focus on operational excellence to boost efficiencies and returns, the key to major business opportunities arise as energy companies effectively use information in smart, effective and forward-thinking ways to derive as much value as possible.

Data has been referred to as the new oil, but as the World Economic Forum points out, “the value of data doesn’t grow by merely accumulating more. It is the insights generated through analytics and combinations of different data sets that generate the real value.”  

This is the Information Advantage, allowing organizations to gain greater strategic insights from their data. This means they can work better, more efficiently and more profitably in an ever-changing environment.

The key technologies to unlock the Information Advantage
Operational excellence continues to be a top priority for energy CIOs. That means reviewing every piece of equipment and business process with a lens towards the economic impact on the full operational lifecycle of an asset.

Content services
Content services help energy companies gain better control of their content. With the addition of micro-services and mobility functionality, businesses adopting such services can ensure their users have access to exactly the information they require, wherever and whenever it is needed.

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)
Commonplace within the energy sector, IIoT devices can transform many aspects of company operations by optimizing performance, minimizing downtime and enabling greater connectivity and data insights across entire assets, such as drilling rigs, refineries, pipelines, and grids. IIoT devices can also help the management of environmental performance and to enhance health and safety compliance.

Predictive maintenance
One way in which energy companies can increase revenue and profit margins is by wringing the greatest possible value out of each asset. Organizations across the industry see their assets and infrastructure aging, creating two key challenges: how to minimize unplanned outages and how to monitor performance to ensure assets are retired or replaced at exactly the right time. Predictive maintenance help energy companies anticipate and respond to impending problems before they can become major and costly business headaches.

Digital Twins
Energy companies are introducing “digital twins” that use data from IoT devices combined with 3D models and operational process data to create a virtual simulation of an asset. This allows companies to greatly improve operational efficiencies and enable predictive maintenance.

AI-assisted analytics
The hype around artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics have quickly become reality. Energy companies are using AI to gain greater control over their data, identify actionable insights and drive faster and better decision making. While AI-assisted analytics is already fairly established in areas such as predictive maintenance, AI will soon drive greater adoption of prescriptive analytics as well. This helps companies move from a product-based approach to a process-based approach. It lets them quickly see where process failures are likely to occur, so they can take remedial actions before problems start.

Pulling it all together
Value chains across the industry are changing. Today, companies increasingly work with others with complementary skill sets to build ecosystems that can quickly take advantage of new business opportunities and models.

The energy sector will need a variety of digital data technologies to stay lean, agile and flexible, and to reap valuable insights from the vast amounts of information it must manage. Staying on top of the challenges coming its way will be key to meeting customer needs and expectations.

With simple interfaces, visualizations, and dashboards, users at all levels are finding it easier to analyze and draw important insights from their data. This should continue through 2020 and beyond.

Contact us to learn more about how OpenText works with energy companies to help them achieve an Information Advantage for intelligent, operational excellence.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.