Oil & Gas

Climbing the world’s tallest mountain: Energy sustainability

How energy companies can unlock their information advantage

Hello from Alaska! I recently returned from an invigorating and inspiring OpenText World in Las Vegas earlier in October. Coming back to Alaska, I was met with a beautiful view: snow on the Chugach Mountains surrounding the Anchorage area.

Looking at the snow-covered mountains, I couldn’t help but think of what our guest keynote speaker Alex Honnold spoke about at OpenText World. A professional rock climber and philanthropist, Honnold discussed what it means to be agile and prepared, and how we can adapt to reach new heights.

Honnold’s story provides an excellent analogy for any organization’s information management journey—and energy companies are no exception. Let me explain.

The journey up the mountain

The top of the mountain represents the strategic initiatives of a company, and every organization is trying to reach their goals. Information is obviously important for the climb, yet it’s really about the right information at every step along the way. Information management helps deliver the right information at every step of the journey up the mountain.

Gartner® defines information management as “a method of using technology to collect, process and condense information with a goal of efficient management.”i  The ability to organize, integrate, and protect your information is integral to the success of the modern energy company.

Reports indicate that as much as 20% of the world’s information is structured data—this includes data contained in rows, columns, tabs, or another pre-defined way. There are many software domains that specialize in collecting and processing this type of information, such as Enterprise Resource Planning, Enterprise Asset Maintenance, Customer Relationship Management, Human Resource Management, Supply Chain Management, and many more. 

The climb up the base of any mountain represents this type of structured information. This  portion of the mountain is clear: it’s structured in nature, meaning the footing is stable and there are few hazards to contend with.

The remaining portion of the climb is where the journey gets more complicated. This part of the climb represents that 80% of unstructured information that organizations hold.  If they are not properly equipped with the right tools, it can be very difficult to get to the top of the mountain—or, in the case of business, achieve their strategic business goals or initiatives.

As you might imagine, the climb up this portion of the mountain is more difficult. It is unstructured in nature. There are no set paths and boulder fields, cliffs, ice chutes, crevasses and more not only make the climb significantly more challenging, but hazardous as well. 

How information management can help

The world is in a race for energy and this race up the mountain is just as much about information management as it is about energy itself.

According to the CIO of Equinor, 80% of employees’ time in the energy sector is spent searching through unstructured information. Not only is this unproductive, but it also contributes to project delays, unplanned asset downtime and safety compliance risks. If 80% of the data organizations hold is unstructured, then energy companies need a reliable information management solution to help them manage their unstructured data and integrate it with structured business applications so their team members can seamlessly utilize information in their climb to achieve strategic initiatives.

Information management technologies and best practices enable companies to navigate the entire climb of their journey because employees work with both structured and unstructured information to execute a business process. Energy companies have numerous structured data applications that are critical to their enterprise; information management technologies and best practices are needed to support them in the remainder of their climb—that 80% of unstructured data—to achieve their strategic initiatives. Companies need a solution to deliver energy safely, reliably, cost effectively and sustainably to their communities and to the world. With information management solutions, organizations can unlock the productive potential of their team members by simply and securely capturing, governing and exchanging information so they have the right information to move forward.

At OpenText, we provide solutions to help energy companies manage their unstructured information and unlock the information advantage. Visit the OpenText oil & gas or utilities website to learn more.

[1]Gartner IT Glossary, IM (Information Management), as on 3rd November 2022

GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

Phil Schwarz

Phil Schwarz is the Industry Strategist for Energy at OpenText. With two decades of energy industry experience, Phil has become a trusted SME, having supported operators, EPCs, service providers, and OEMs across the entire value chain. Phil is an engineer by education and has a MBA, M.S. in Economics, and a Graduate Certificate in Smart Oilfield Technologies. He resides in the Anchorage, Alaska area and loves to hike and enjoy the outdoors.

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