Digitize the Upstream O&G – 5 principles and 7 tips from Strategy&


A most recent report from Strategy&, part of the PwC network of firms, capitalizes on six senior O&G gas executives from leading operating and services companies to distillate 5 principles and 7 practical tips on how to approach digitizing a company.

Principle 1 Digital transformation is not a technology-led solution. It is a business-led transformation that leverages technology.

Essentially, company executives need to ask themselves what the company is really good at and what it must be famous for – and the figure out how digitization can help.

Tip Start with a high-level, operational approach!

Principle 2 This transformation requires all aspects of the operating model (vision, strategy, process, culture and behaviors) to encompass digitization.

Some companies still view digital technology as peripheral to their core business. But ‘siloed’ digitization does not provide the cross-functional insights across multiple assets that are needed to drive efficiency and values at the enterprise level.

Tip Collaborate to drive digitization!
Tip Be aware of the cultural element!

Principle 3 Digital solutions need to be holistic. All dimensions of a company and its operating ecosystem (its suppliers and external partners) need to be digital enabled.

Building a digital organization isn’t just the case of applying the technology to one area of the business, or buying it off-the-shelf because it might solve a particular problem. Digitization needs to encompass stakeholders beyond the company itself to unlock its full potential.

Tip Start a conversation about data sharing!

Principle 4 Companies need to develop their own digital transformations because there is no ‘best practice’ model in the sector to replicate.

Different companies have taken different paths when it comes to embracing digitization, in part because they need to be sure that digital technologies can be deployed without risk to operations.

Tip Find an approach that works for you!
Principle 5 Getting the right weighting between technical (the engineers) and technology (the data scientists and software engineers) capabilities is critical.

With growing focus on data analytics, companies will need engineers that are more digitally savvy. Finding this balance between traditional engineering and new technology capabilities is likely to prove one of the trickiest challenges for chief strategies officers and chief information officers.

Tip Recognize that data scientists and software developers are in high demand!
Tip Pay attention to strategies to attract and retain talent!

Among the senior executives who contributed with insights in this Strategy& report, there are people from Equinor (former Statoil), Baker Hughes General Electric, Petrofac and Wood.


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