The push for digitization is transforming how business is done in the energy industry. Digital transformation increases accessibility, productivity and profitability. According to IDG’s 2018 State of Digital Business Transformation whitepaper, 89% of organizations plan to adopt a digital-first business strategy and 44% have started implementing a digital-first approach to business processes, operations and customer engagement.

For decades, oil & gas companies have relied on valuable data to discover and understand the potential in their reservoirs and other production opportunities. However, most of these companies have not captured the full potential of their information because they haven’t had immediate access to all their data in order to generate actionable insights or make better and faster decisions. Because of this, most companies see digital transformation as a business priority and essential to remaining competitive. PwC reports in its 2018 AI Predictions whitepaper that the “energy industry will put practical AI to work to free up time, enhance quality and personalization”.

While the arguments for going digital are compelling, it can also be a challenging road for energy companies trying to make the change. Here are seven tips that can help set your company up for success:

1. Know the culture

For successful change management during a digital transformation, start by assessing the culture of the organization you’re working in. Look for the different organizational values, risks and even personal hang-ups that contribute to the overall motivation of the organization’s workforce. Are there individuals or business units that find security in their physical records? What is at the root of their concerns? What are their motivators? Take the time to have meaningful – and open – conversations to highlight the plan, alleviate concerns and build buy-in (See Tip #3).

2. Someone has to own It

In order for your initiative to be optimally effective, accountability should be established at the highest levels of the organization. Executive sponsorship (and ownership) is especially important if you hope to tap into those cultural values and motivators discussed under Tip #1. Having the endorsement of thought leaders will go a long way in highlighting the need for digitization processes in a fast-paced world where multiple issues and approaches constantly vie for attention.

3. Be Inclusive

Effective change must be driven from all levels of the organization. As critical as it is for senior leadership to endorse your destination, close attention must also be paid to the people who will get you there. It is never too early to start communicating the benefits and objectives of your planned digital evolution through any means available, including one-on-one consultations, lunch-and-learn presentations, email bulletins and social media campaigns.

While open communication is a must, listening is also essential. Administrative staff, field workers, land departments and specialized resources all handle the day-to-day details of the world in which information is captured, used, accessed and stored. They can foresee practical and technical challenges, allowing the digitization team to build in solutions remedying those same challenges.

4. Face the fears

Address fears and resistance head-on and integrate responses and solutions directly into your key messaging. This will show that you are listening, thereby increasing buy-in.

One example of the fears associated with digitization is privacy. The idea of critical records and sensitive information being available via an electronic network brings to mind sensationalized stories of hackers, large scale data corruption and abuse of privacy rights. All of those things can happen if privacy, confidentiality and security are not built directly into information systems and digitization processes.

5. You have to start somewhere

A pilot implementation has long been considered a critical component of any system development life cycle. While a records digitization project is no exception, it also exemplifies the key role that pilot can play in the change management process. By demonstrating the proof-of-concept for the records digitization, a successful pilot implementation will provide many of your key messages as your advocate for change.

6. Celebrate every success

Whether you’ve just completed a pilot implementation or experienced a positive outcome at some other stage of the digital evolution, effective change management requires that you celebrate every success. No, this isn’t about office parties and free cake (although those are good, too). It’s about quantifying and communicating the positive impacts of digitization at every opportunity. Talk about your improved accessibility, minimization of risks, improved workflows and the ROI realized.

7. Choose the Right Business Partner

One of the most critical components of any digital transformation is having the right partner who understands the energy industry, while having the expertise to do the heavy lifting when it comes to converting physical records into digital files.

With over 20 years of experience working with North American oil and gas companies, TAB works with you to create a customized solution to get the most from your scanned information, while reducing your costs and increasing efficiencies.

TAB’s digitization solutions include:

  • energy industry experts to help with planning, execution, management and training
  • a unique, human-assisted AI-capture engine that gets smarter and faster over time
  • automatic identification and classification of scanned documents

For more information, visit or download our companion case study on change management tips for your digital evolution at You can also email to get in touch with one of our information management experts.