Digital Oilfield is no more an idea. It is a reality, a future that has already begun. The lean, agile, cost-effective and productivity-boosting technologies driving the operational excellence in Oil and Gas operations include Cloud, Mobility, Big Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence. These Big 4 technologies have broken the entry barrier by taking off the prohibitive cost of ownership and eliminating the need to deploy a battery of experts on the ground. Let us focus on how Cloud infrastructure is re-energizing the traditional oil field operations.
Technology investments are long tail decisions, fraught with various toll gates and approval mechanisms. Added to that is the uncertainty that despite the prohibitive capital and resource investment, the on-premise solutions may or may not give desired results, at the right time. Many oil and gas companies have been struggling with legacy systems that are a drain on resources and a nightmare to manage. On-premise data centers are a huge financial and operational burden. Oil and Gas companies can benefit by moving to cloud-based solutions. They may take a cautious approach and instead of an all-out shift can begin by moving the applications that provide the most value and least business disruption to Cloud. Innovative approach and out of box solutions now do not come with a big price tag!
Given the nature of the operation in an oilfield, the ability to ramp up and ramp down with ease and without impacting the productivity is a game changer. Cloud-based solutions are designed with scalability at the core. On-premise technologies are bound by their limited scalability and are hardly a match for cloud providers’ capacity to innovate and scale for data-intensive environments. Further, the business can focus on its core competency without the burden to manage hardware, personnel, and integration requirements. They can simply opt for customized solutions that align with their need, and decide when to ramp up or ramp down depending on ground realities. The lead time required to effect and manage the change is negligible, hence the productivity is never compromised.
Field Intelligence and Production Planning are two critical components of oil and gas operations. Traditionally, the oilfields are managing these functions with gut feel and dated information. The on-premise solutions have failed to deliver optimal results and in effect have made oil fields less productive. With the market realities sinking in and push on margins being felt to the core, oil and gas producers can no longer live in the past. However, the lost time and the gap in tech maturity can be easily leveled with Cloud-based solutions that allow them to hit the ground running. They can streamline the functions and get their data organized for insightful analysis right away and have the ease of access, anytime, anywhere.
The myth of insecurity around Cloud is now firmly busted. As the saying goes, data is the new oil and oil and gas industry, in particular, can hardly afford to let it spill or worse, let it remain unmined. The data ownership is in the hands of the business while its security is assured by Cloud service providers. In fact, given the scale and complexity of data and multiple clients that these companies manage, security is their prime focus. The sophistication with which they secure data is impossible to replicate by midsized and small oil and gas producers with their on-premise data centers.
Cloud has been a big boon to industries across the board and Oil & Gas producers now realize the cost-effectiveness and ease of operations it affords. The digital oilfield has a prerequisite – cloud technology. It is time you hit the Cloud!
Are you on Cloud already? Are you planning to? Do you have any concerns? Let us keep comparing notes…