We need to talk about content

Let’s start with a question: In the current focus on digital initiatives, are energy companies overlooking the importance of content? And, what does that mean?

The potential of digital transformation 

The wave of sweeping themes, like the 4th Industrial Revolution, Industry/Manufacturing 4.0, and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), has become a stimulus for many companies to create fundamental change programs, with the goal to enable comprehensive business transformation.

These prevalent themes, combined with innovative enabling technologies that encompass the spectrum of data science, Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine vision and machine learning, hold huge promise and opportunities for asset intensive industries. They also provide the potential to fundamentally change the way the industry as a whole views, evaluates and drives decisions, from the operator level to the boardroom.

In a recent podcast with Oil & Gas IQ, I explored how these technologies – when combined with access to accurate, reliable, and verified content – can dramatically improve Intelligent operations.

Forbes suggests that more than 70% of all digital transformation programs fail to meet their objectives or deliver the value and promise that were identified as part of the justification for the project.

I believe that one of the key reasons for this inability to deliver on the promise of digital transformation is firmly embedded in the failure to encompass the foundational and core values related to the operational culture of the organization.

Addressing operational culture 

Failure to address the organizational culture negates the promise of the digital revolution, and prohibits the potential to create real transformation that fundamentally changes the way people work. It limits the ability to create and enable a digital thread across the organizational content, supporting decision making at all levels.

Across the full spectrum of the energy sector, which for OpenText™ includes the global utilities industry, businesses rely on available and accurate, reliable, and timely content on which to make informed decisions.

I have had the unique opportunity to work with a variety of companies on a global scale, both in the C-Suite and at the operator level at plant sites. One consistent theme I’ve heard is that the information people use to make daily decisions is still largely in silos, disconnected and far from timely or readily available. Data and information is protected on a need to know vs. no harm to know basis that inhibits access and  can stifle effective decision-making.   

Think differently 

My experience has highlighted the challenges associated with decision makers being presented with vast amounts of content, maintained in myriad systems, and locations. The restricted, inaccurate, and inconsistent nature of this content the potential to actually increase operating risk and reduce organizational effectiveness.

Organizations need to think differently about data, information, and content if they want to extract the potential value from their digital investments.

Industry 4.0 has great promise but don’t be fooled, without instant access to timely and trusted content across the multiple stakeholder groups the ability to transform the way people work and how the business operates in this digital environment will not be realized.

A stark question 

So let me ask you, is the content held in your systems of record trusted and accessible? In the context to your job function, can accurate and reliable content be retrieved in three minutes or less, or within three clicks?

The value of content lies solely in the processes it enables. For energy companies, these are core, mission-critical processes such as Management of Change, Pre-Safety Start-up Review, Integrated safe systems of work, Reliability, Availability and Maintainability. All these systems are dependent on a wide variety of accurate content to minimize risk and improve operating discipline.

The truth is that there is work to be done to get the information under control, available and accurate. I will refer to this as information management maturity, which is a pre-requisite to building a truly predictive business.

A fundamental component of that initiative is to deploy an effective content service platform as the primary step to transforming data into effective informational content and transitioning it from an impediment to business value driver.

If you’d like to know more about OpenText solutions for the energy sector, visit our website


OpenText, The Information Company, enables organizations to gain insight through market-leading information management solutions, powered by OpenText Cloud Editions.

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