Oil and Gas Software: IT is Adapting in a Brave New World

Oil and gas software helps support IT transformation into valued business partner

It’s no secret that the exploration, drilling and production industry is not the same industry it once was, and oil and gas software can provide companies with the new Oil & Gas Software: The role of ITcapabilities they need to respond to the increasingly competitive environment around them. In a recent article from The American Oil & Gas Reporter, titled “IT Leaders Embrace Challenging Transformation In Upstream Operations”, Johnathan Zanger and Gerry Swift discuss how change in the oil and gas industry has created both challenge and opportunity for IT.

Zanger and Swift argue that oil and gas companies have a choice: they can either look at IT as a necessary but inconvenient utility—that is, they could continue to look at IT the same way they always have—or, they can start looking at IT as a valued partner that can help meet desired business outcomes.

Decision Making and IT

Zanger and Swift analyzed data provided by seven different exploration, drilling and production IT groups to gain a better understanding of how decisions are being made in these organizations, and how these decisions affect the business. The results of the analysis show a number of ways that growing the partnership between IT and line of business can benefit oil and gas companies:

  • Improved data management
  • Greater customer satisfaction
  • More opportunities to innovate
  • More well-defined corporate structure

Improved data management

As oil and gas companies change the way they operate, they must also change the way they capture, analyze and apply data. It’s no longer sufficient to gather data just for the sake of gathering data. Successful companies must be able to capture pertinent data that can be directly applied to business operations. Oil and gas software can provide the data management capabilities needed to make this happen.

Greater customer satisfaction

Ensuring customer satisfaction has long been one of the most important objectives of oil and gas IT organizations. However, changes in the oil and gas industry have also altered the meaning of the term “customer satisfaction.” It’s no longer just a matter of meeting business objectives and focusing on customer needs. IT organizations now need to make themselves truly customer-centric, aligning themselves to provide business value, before the customer even has to ask.

More opportunities to innovate

The importance of innovation in the oil and gas industry is well established. What seems to be less clear is the difference between change and innovation. Innovation constitutes a change for the better, that opens a new and more effective way of doing things. Many oil and gas companies have difficulty identifying innovation opportunities, but Zanger and Swift predict that a greater partnership between business and IT would make these opportunities easier to find.

More well-defined corporate structure

In order for IT to support the business effectively, there must be established processes in place to show the alignments and accountabilities of everyone involved with the IT organization. IT organizations can no longer continue to exist in their own little world. In order for IT organization to provide true business value, they must understand their relationship with the business, and be able to collaborate consistently.

One of the key misconceptions that Zanger and Swift try to do away with in their article is that changing IT requires bleeding-edge technological solutions. In reality, the solutions needed to drive greater IT involvement with business processes already exist, and they’re already proven. IT just needs to find new ways to apply these tools, such as oil and gas software, to support their mission.

For more on this topic, read this article on how the IT service model is changing…