As with many large industries whose inception predated computers, the oil and gas industry has been making a slow but steady transition from paper to software to business management platforms.

One move within the industry is toward performance management. Performance management can help control costs, improve customer service, maximize productivity, and manage operations. Within this overarching theme is business intelligence, which takes historical, current, and predictive views of business operations based on data gathered from disparate sources. has just issued its first “alert,” a white paper sponsored by IBM, titled “Why Performance Management Matters.” Geared to upstream operations, the paper discusses the need for performance management in this industry.

According to Paul Hoy, industry director for IBM Cognos software, the industry is still transitioning “from day-to-day transactions in the strategic use of information as a means for driving optimized business operations.” An array of enterprise resource planning applications combined with the standard “home grown” systems, may each serve individual purposes well, but getting all of the systems to talk to each other so that businesses can make sense of the information they store can be tricky.

IBM hopes its Cognos software will provide an alternative to “cumbersome budgeting and forecasting processes.” It’s intended to automate workflows, collaborate among stakeholders, model key business drivers, and increase understanding of the implications of changes in production volumes.

To download a copy of this free white paper, visit