According to a survey by Pew Research Internet, Americans are roughly twice as likely to express worry rather than enthusiasm about a future in which robots and computers are capable of taking jobs that are currently human-driven. However, SAP has done a deep dive into the effects of digitization work force processes in the oil and gas industry and has come up with some promising and exciting outcomes for the future of the human labor force.
SAP By Design is leading the charge with the digital revolution in the oil and gas industry. Their reimagined business processes will ease the minds of even the most skeptic conspiracy theorists. According to SAP, a substantial business transformation should automate manual tasks, enrich jobs, and create more meaningful work. In other words, people will continue to be critical assets in the digital energy network. Their responsibilities may adjust, but their value within the system will grow. Here are some practical ways that digital transformation will affect oil and gas companies:
SAP Oil and Gas Digital Business Processes
Digitizing business processes will eliminate unnecessary and transactional work, replacing it with real-time analytics that work together with digital methods to support automated, rule-based decision making. Not only will this increase efficiency, but it will also free workers up from administrative duties. Digital processes will allow workers to focus on more enriching and meaningful tasks.
SAP Oil & Gas Data Accessibility and Visibility
Accurate and relevant data will be more accessible to both internal and external parties. Having the right data at the right time ensures that workers are making the right decisions in the most productive manner possible. This kind of data visibility will become commonplace in the oil and gas industry, and companies will start to see increases in profitability and productivity as a direct result.
IoT and Machine Learning
As machines become more and more connected, the Internet of Things (IoT) will play a considerable role in increased efficiency in the oil and gas industry. No longer will someone have to check on inventory levels regularly, as an example: frac materials upstream, chemicals midstream, or inventory downstream. As machines and the AI governing them grow smarter, it will enhance the ability for the manufacturer, supplier or vendor to deliver excellence to consumers. Workers will not be put out of a job, but rather, they will become more efficient, skilled and specialized in their field.
Utilizing technology such as drones and augmented reality will significantly improve safety and productivity in the workplace with better preparedness and monitoring. Touchless transactions continue to show how machines are only enhancing the industry rather than taking it over completely. Workers are shifting to roles where their creativity and ingenuity is valued and needed, and they have the time and space to practice it.
Consumers are demanding more from their energy providers; what used to be “above and beyond” is now the norm. Digital energy companies will require effective and adaptive digital communication to maintain a positive relationship with their assets, workforce, customers, service providers, and all other stakeholders. Real-time information will ensure that communication is accurate and timely.
Digital transformation is the future of the energy business and business in general, and it is in everyone's best interest to embrace the efficiencies that it brings. Artificial intelligence in the oil and gas industry can shift roles, but it cannot replace the creativity and insight of a skilled worker, which is something that can help everyone rest a little easier at night.
For more in depth information on this topic, check out our SAP Digital Innovations for Oil and Gas Companies whitepaper below.