How Digital Technology Can Best Serve Your Oil and Gas Business - and Your People

Updated: Jul 11, 2018

We at PetroMall are seeing see a big change in the way our clients roll-out of digital technology. Senior managers of oil and gas companies are starting to take a deeper interest in how it works – and encouraging the development of systems which are more supportive and helpful to their own employees – making their work more productive and even more enjoyable.

Previously, for all the years of development of digital technology, senior managers of companies which buy technology did not care about it too much. They recognised the need to sign a cheque for it, yes, but largely left the IT department alone to do their own thing. This meant that IT departments became very insular, rather than integrated with the rest of the company, and employees had to make do with whatever they were given.

What good digital technology looks like

Good software is not necessarily the sort of digital technology big software companies want to sell. It does not need to be complex. It needs to provide people with information they need at the right time. It needs to support the way they want to work. It needs to avoid interrupting them with updates or bugs. It needs to be modelled around people’s needs.

When a good digital system is working well, people are not being overloaded with superfluous information, or more information than they can mentally process. They can get maximum value from available data and algorithms to support decision making. People do minimal superfluous work, or minimal work which would be relatively easy to program a computer to do. People have control over their work, can constantly improve their understanding about how the real world situation works.

What bad digital technology looks like

Bad digital technology implementations have some common themes:

  • No-one knows where data has come from.

  • Tools have been chosen without a full understanding of the problem they are fixing.

  • There is no overlap in skills between people

As a result, companies find themselves being shaped by IT departments telling the company what to do, rather than being subservient to the business.

The challenge of implementation

Oil companies are starting to recognise that their biggest challenge is no longer developing technology – it is implementation or ‘operationalising’ technology which already exists. There is a big gap between what data scientists can do in one-off projects and what companies do every day as their ‘strategic capability’.

PetroMall has worked with several large energy clients and helped them to learn how to enhance their digital profile while still keeping control of their business. Get in touch with today to discuss how we can help your organisation do the same.


PetroMall is an energy consultancy dedicated to ensuring the supply of natural resources required is undertaken in a responsible and professional manner across different countries, improving the economics of prospective and existing projects.

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