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How cloud accelerates the energy race

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Are we working toward energy transition or are we in an energy race? It’s a race. Not only do we need to safely and sustainably deliver energy to 9.7 billion people worldwide by 2050, the companies that get there first will gain real advantage. In this race, information is every bit as important as energy and the cloud will be a key enabler in the future of the energy sector.

In my previous blog, I talked about the role of information management in facilitating the energy transition — the move from fossil fuels to renewable energy. The sector has been slow to embrace the need to change – some would say glacial – but there’s no doubt that the race is now on.

Improving information management

To win any race you have to be fast and agile. In the energy sector, this means being able to make informed decisions quickly and act on them effectively. The foundational element in all of this is information. The better you can manage information and the more insights you can draw from your data, the more potential you have to succeed.

The fly in this ointment is that energy companies haven’t traditionally been good with information. The Journal of Petroleum Technology reports that 80% of an energy employee’s time is spent looking through unstructured data to simply do their work, which is more than three times the average across all industries.

This is unsustainable in today’s Big Data world where a digitized oil field can easily create 500,000 new data points every second. Energy companies need to dramatically improve the way they capture, organize, integrate, protect, govern and exchange information. And, they need to do it at scale. The current, on-premise IT infrastructure of many firms is not capable of the task. If information management is the foundation of future business, the cloud is its key pillar.

Accelerating the energy race

There are many benefits to moving information and content to the cloud. Chief among them is the ability to drive transformation and innovation while significantly reducing costs associated with traditional, legacy infrastructure. In fact, companies that have used the OpenText™ cloud TCO calculator have demonstrated savings of up to 30% in managing and maintaining information management solutions.

However, I don’t believe it’s cost that’s driving the nine-fold increase in cloud spending that BloombergNEF is reporting within oil and gas this decade. Companies need the compute power, scalability, performance and security that only the cloud can deliver. They need to be able shorten the development and deployment times of new digital functionality. And organizations are well aware that continuing with on-premise infrastructure is costly and ineffective.

Soon cloud computing will transition from strategic differentiator to table stakes within the energy sector. However, there are still massive opportunities for energy companies that move now. By adopting solutions like Content Cloud for Energy from OpenText, firms can deliver visibility, insight and control over enterprise information to facilitate successful digital transformation and put themselves in pole position for the energy race.

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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