New technologies, new roles
“Digital technologies are transforming virtually all operating practices in the oil and gas industry,” McAvey says.
Field plant, equipment and personnel are being fitted with digital sensors. Interaction between field workers and smart machines is becoming more interactive and collaborative. More field work is being remotely managed or autonomously performed, for example, using drones for inspections, deliveries and repairs. Oil and gas companies are creating new digital assets, such as drilling algorithms and intelligent pipelines. And advanced analytics is driving innovation everywhere, including backend processes such as procurement.
New IT roles are being created to:
- Facilitate creative development of more or better digital assets
- De-risk the process of placing digital assets in control of operations
- Secure digital assets from cyberthreats
- Manage the intellectual property (IP) of digital assets over time
- Change the way the business is run
Actions for oil and gas CIOs
To remain relevant, oil and gas CIOs must contribute directly to business innovation by developing IT talent and capabilities that drive the company to higher levels of digital maturity.
Start in a tactical, practical way. Identify the existing gaps in digital innovation capabilities within your firm. Then identify talent already within IT with potential to fill these gaps and establish a program to develop these talented professionals in parallel with their traditional responsibilities.
Work with HR and business leaders to increase the transfer of digital business talent among IT, engineering, operations and business groups. Aggressively manage internal head count to create space for bringing in new talent as demand arises.