The global demand for energy is growing rapidly. The need for mining, oil and gas, and utilities companies to discover and develop new resources while managing an ageing infrastructure is growing ever faster. Energy organisations require highly efficient business operations within one of the world’s most highly regulated sectors.
The ability to fully maximise the value of information is vital while poor information management can seriously impact business success. The ARC Advisory Group estimates that poor performance in just one small area – Asset Information Management – can wipe 1.5% off an Energy company’s revenue.
The solution for Energy companies is to create a ‘single version of the truth’ – one view of all of the information – both structured and unstructured – for all operational aspects of the business. Unlike most industries, the Energy sector has always had a remote and distributed business model with operations and assets spread over wide geographical areas. This has naturally led to silos of information developing. Information Governance is required to reverse this process and ensure that all relevant information is available to the right people when and where they need it.
Key areas for consideration in the Energy sector include:
Health and safety is of paramount concern for Energy companies, especially where business operations take place in remote and hostile environments such as a mine site or offshore rig. Mitigating Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) goes beyond regulatory compliance. Too often, on-site accidents are the result of incomplete or inaccurate information. In addition to accurate regulatory submissions and reporting, HSE has to be embedded in day-to-day operating procedures. A major part of this comprises equipping workers with correct, up-to-date information for business operations and maintenance.
Like other commercial sectors, the Energy sector is realising that decision-making intelligence is held within corporate data. The phrase Big Data could have been coined for Energy organisations as they have more data than most. Developments such as Smart Grids provide the opportunity to apply real-time data analytics and improve business insight and decision-making. In areas where there is significant customer churn, having the agility to bring new and innovative products to market quickly is a major competitive advantage. Information Governance unlocks the value of information in huge customer and ratings databases as well as the unstructured data found in customer communications and emails.
Enterprise Asset Management
The Energy sector’s major pain points surround production assets such as power plants, rigs and manufacturing sites. The ability to maximise return on assets and operational efficiency while minimising downtime is a key challenge. The traditional approach to asset management has focused on structured, transactional data. While important, this is only part of the picture. An organisation requires a holistic view of all of its asset information – including technical specifications, user manuals, maintenance records and service contracts – that can be accessed when required. The accessibility, quality and traceability of asset information is essential if cost and inefficiency is to be driven from the management and maintenance of production assets.
Improving Capital Expenditure Effectiveness
The cost of new exploration is rising exponentially as natural resources become scarce. This means that organisations cannot gamble with Capital Expenditure projects. There are two parts to this. Firstly, information plays a key role in determining the feasibility of the project and driving operations through its lifecycle. Secondly, companies can focus on operational efficiencies as a means to free capital for investment in new resource development and production capacity. Information Governance is key in order to successfully achieve both goals. By maximising the value of information within the organisation, operations are more efficient, productive and profitable. In addition, it provides the strategy and framework for ensuring that the right people have access to the right information at the right time – able to securely share information and collaborate regardless of where they are in the world.