Carlos Soto, Exanis Consulting

Oil and gas leaders are aware, now more than ever, that the need to remain competitive depends upon the proper and early implementation of technology.

The approach of cutting costs while focusing on technology that maintains a competitive edge within oil and gas can be achieved through focusing on certain areas.

Cloud Computing: Migrating services to the cloud is a maturing technology that has shown to not only reduce capital expenditures but improve operational efficiency by better aligning resources and streamlining collaboration. From an infrastructure standpoint, these efficiencies include more fully utilized hardware as workloads share infrastructure which often results in lower power costs as less servers are running idle and a lower number of employees to manage this infrastructure. From a software standpoint, subscription-based cloud applications come at a fixed cost without the need for software updates and maintenance all while providing increased accessibility for its end users.

Big Data: A well-established cloud infrastructure, whether hybrid, private or public provides a gateway to Big Data integration. With a well implemented Big Data infrastructure, oil and gas companies can improve operational technology that better captures equipment performance, well productivity and a myriad of data from the reservoir and a well standpoint. Adding to this list of data are the captured data around geological and geophysical activities surrounding exploration, health and environmental safety. Sifting through the data and connecting the dots to action items and takeaways remains crucial in an oil and gas company’s ability to predict business outcomes and to make real-time decisions that help them outperform their competitors.

Information Technology Service Management (ITSM): A well implemented ITSM system not only eliminates overhead but also produces increased interoperability efficiencies by driving employee productivity and help coordinate business objectives for optimal performance. The use of ITSM helps to leverage an organization’s IT framework for greater user satisfaction. ITSM creates more effective cross-functional transparency; it also inadvertently creates an opportunity for continual service improvement. The innovative nature of ITSM will allow consistent self-improvement across operational functions for increased productivity and a cost-justified infrastructure.

A lot has been said to compare the recent downturn of the price of oil and gas to past nightmares experienced in years such as 2008, 1982, 1979 and 1973. As we in the industry prepare to line up 2015 behind this macabre list of years we would like to forget, let’s acknowledge something that some of us didn’t during those other downturns. The real GDP, the role of technology, the regulations and the very nature of organizational structures are in many ways radically different now than they were during these last downturns.

For starters, we are no longer in a national or global recession. It’s not ideal, but the economic landscape is not as bleak as it was when compared to the recessions of 2008, 1982 or even 1973. Additionally, we are dealing with the transformative nature of new technologies, many of which have helped reduce threats during the Great Recession and prevented a full economic calamity. This is the time to seize the opportunities that ensure an oil and gas organization hits the ground running once the demand for production returns to desired levels.

J.D Rockefeller once said that he always tried to turn every disaster into an opportunity. With a balanced approach at achieving peak operational efficiency and a targeted investment approach within technological services, oil and gas companies can better weather the current climate and better align their resources to lead the industry once the downturn ends.

This blog post originally appeared on the Enaxis Consulting website.