Shifting from Reactive to Predictive in Energy: Driving Valuable Outcomes in a New Digital Landscape Part 3

Technology and Digital


May 16, 2018

For the Oil and Gas industry to succeed in making the digital shift from reactive to predictive maintenance, their industrial processes and technology applications need to evolve. In this three-part blog series, we will discuss the following:

  • Incorporating Data Analysis into Operations Processes, Part 1
  • Human and IT impacts, Part 2
  • Managing Digitalization Programs, Part 3

The digital shift impacts all dimensions of the company and requires strong change management and program management support. On this basis, any transformation must have a two-fold goal: operations improvement and capitalizing on the new possibilities offered by digital development.

A structured roadmap is mandatory, integrating an approach utilizing Proofs of Concept and pilots to validate that operations are not adversely impacted. The complexity of delivery will also depend on the chosen scope: retrofitting a Brownfield plant is much more complicated than augmenting a Greenfield project. To this end, the main characteristic of any program to implement digitization should be that it is an evolving system which will be optimized over time (including predictive models and Artificial Intelligence).

To succeed in digitalization programs, focus areas should include:

  • The project team –strong project management must be at the foundation with high-level, multifunctional, and flexible resources supported by external expertise to round out the teams
  • Global consistency – the digital evolution of all operational dimensions should be done jointly and with coordination: throughout the project, operations organizations should not forget to have a “keep the lights on” mentality
  • Risks and milestone management – as some risks and delays could have a significant impact on operations, strict management of risks and milestones is crucial, requiring project teams with the ability to anticipate and adapt
  • Prepare roll-out in a dual approach
    • Build a standard, structured, and global model for digitization
    • Consider local intricacies for each roll-out (e.g. the roll-out will be different from one plant to another depending on the equipment involved)

Following the implementation of digitalization programs, corrective maintenance should progressively turn into predictive maintenance, allowing better utilization of equipment and a reduction of downtime caused by failures. The financial benefits from digitization will include improvements in operations and organizational competitiveness.