We’re hearing the term “digital transformation” over and over in all kinds of industries. It’s more than just a buzzword, it’s an entire movement that’s changing businesses around the world.
According to a recent Datamation white paper, “By 2020, 60 percent of all enterprises will have fully articulated an organization-wide digital transformation strategy, and will be in the process of implementing that strategy as the new IT core for competing in the digital economy.”
Additionally, “By 2021, at least 50 percent of global GDP will be digitized, with growth driven by digitally-enhanced offerings, operations, and relationships.”
One industry that’s embracing digital transformation is manufacturing. Some of them have begun transforming their manually-operated factories into almost-completely automated plants that use machines to do all the fabrication, transportation, and quality checks.
The ordering system is tied to the production system, which is tied to the inventory system. When the order comes in, the ERP system checks the available inventory and makes sure the order can be processed. Once the inventory dips below a certain level, it either alerts the purchasing agent or even makes an automatic purchase itself.
The production order is sent to one of the automatic manufacturing cells, the operator starts the process, and the product gets made. The system ensures all the quality checks are being performed and met, and the products are being made to the appropriate specs.
The entire system runs with automated machines, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things. It gets created, tested, tweaked, and re-tested until it’s running at optimal efficiency and productivity. Then, through a process called digital twinning, the entire setup can be recreated in completely different locations around the world. As long as the same equipment and raw materials are being used, everything can be replicated to near-perfection with only a little tweaking and testing to account for small local variations.
How the Oil and Gas Industry Can Create a Digital Transformation Strategy With Cloud Computing
It’s possible for oil and gas companies to start their own digital transformation strategy as well, and it starts with cloud computing and the tools necessary to lighten your manual workload.
For example, tabulating run tickets is often a time-consuming job with delays between the days the tickets are run and the days the reports are generated. In some cases, there can be 7 – 10 days between those two events. As a result, many oil companies are experiencing loss and theft worth millions of dollars in a year.
But with a cloud-based mobile app, drivers and refineries could report their run ticket totals each time a tanker is filled or emptied, and the results can be reported in real-time, flagging any discrepancies and notifying the appropriate people immediately.
Service companies can automate their billing based on the different functions they provide, and even the number of rigs are in operation. By using digital measuring devices that monitor hours of operation, it’s also possible to measure the output and work the different rigs are doing, but it’s even possible to use the devices to monitor the health of the equipment and notify the appropriate maintenance people when it’s time to replace a part before it ever gets broken. (It can also keep them from replacing a part too soon, taking a rig offline sooner or for longer than it needs, which can also eat into profits.)
Cloud computing is going to be an important part of any company’s digital transformation. It’s about more than just backup or storage — it’s about harnessing the power of dozens, if not hundreds, of servers and next-generation tools that let companies compete on a global scale, a way for smaller companies to operate like medium-sized companies; for medium-companies to compete with large companies.
It’s a way for oil and gas companies to start undergoing their own digital transformation and finding new efficiencies and areas of increased productivity and reduced costs.
Cloud computing is quickly becoming a must-have technology that companies will need if they want to compete in the global market and stay ahead of the competition.