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Pitfalls to Avoid When Going Digital in Oil & Gas

Sure, digitalization reinvents the oil & gas industry and opens up new markets and value streams. But let’s admit the coin always has a flip side. There will be obstacles to your digital transformation regardless of how much effort you put into it.

Though, those pitfalls aren’t so scary when you know about them in detail and have an experienced consulting partner who can develop a strategy to avoid them. So, let’s explore the top three roadblocks of digitalization in oil and gas and how you can deal with them seamlessly.

#1 Workforce Resistance and the Lack of Tech Skills

Digital oil and gas business solutions are cutting edge and designed with the future in mind. Yet, the industry’s manual-focused culture and workplace practices are mostly archaic. So, the real question is, does your team have enough tech skills and the willingness to go the extra mile? 

Changes are hard, and not everybody will be ready to embrace them with open arms. This is why implementing new practices always requires support in the form of increased training, optimized human resources, and an efficient workforce learning curve. So, you should focus on attracting more digital talents to your company and promoting an agile, ambitious mindset among leaders to reap the real benefits of digitalization in oil and gas. 

A few tips to overcome the resistance challenge:

  • Share a common, organization-wide vision with your colleagues and stakeholders to show that you’re ready to provide any guidance needed during the digitalization initiative. 
  • Set up a management team that will cultivate a digital culture among your workforce to help them prepare for the shift and systemic changes in operations.
  • Launch upskilling courses and knowledge transfer sessions to tame the fear of change and reluctance. 
  • Create a backup plan to overcome connectivity issues, power outages, or accidental data loss. 

#2 Cybersecurity Concerns

Can your company eliminate the possibility of being hacked 100%? No, and we won’t deny it. But all in all, reputable digitalization service companies, for instance, always follow the latest security protection practices. So, how can you protect your data when implementing oil and gas business solutions? 

Here are a few tips to dodge that pitfall: 

  • When selecting a digital platform, decide where you’d like to store your files—on premises or in a cloud—and outline a scope of security measures needed in each case.
  • Double-check the cybersecurity practices and standards a provider applies in a software product. 
  • Safety features should include custom security settings, e-signatures, all-around encryption, multi-factor authentication, role-based access levels, strong passwords, network firewalls, and more.
  • Investigate physical on-premise security protocol. Who has access to data centers, and how do they identify eligible employees? Are there policies for regular security audits? Do they monitor their facilities 24/7? Etc. 
  • Clarify whether a vendor has a backup policy to prevent data loss in case of emergency. If you’re going to store data on your servers, continue to ensure that you can always restore it from backups.

#3 Digital Scalability

Overall agility and scalability are essential for your business’s resilience and growth. But when it comes to a transformation journey, as your operating capacity expands, so must your digital platforms. 

Ensuring that your digital office has no limits in flexibility to scale up or down will guarantee that all your operations run smoothly. Plus, higher scalability reduces the likelihood of software or hardware crashing at the worst possible time.

A few tips to avoid the scalability pitfall:

  • If your oil and gas business development department doesn’t intend to grow significantly in particular directions, there’s no need to implement some feature-heavy software product. It’s better to purchase extended functionality you’ll use daily without overpaying for what you don’t need.
  • Opt for systems with customizable settings and assess whether they can easily integrate with your legacy applications. 
  • Technology quickly phases in and out, so keep track of how your platform performs on a bigger scale. Monitor whether developers keep supporting and improving it, and watch out for a tech stack becoming outdated.

Prepare your Company for Digitalization

Excited about the bright, fruitful future promised by digitalization in oil and gas? We admit that such enthusiasm is critical but can certainly cloud your judgment regarding what’s at stake in digitalization. That’s why we’ve reviewed the most common pitfalls of digitalization in oil and gas that you should keep in mind in this article. 

We hope you found this blog informative and interesting. If you need a new piece of equipment, fill out the Tiger General Truck Inquiry Form today!