2017 Hot Topics

To better understand today’s oil and gas landscape, Eventful Conferences is continually connecting with key individuals in the space. This year, we completed a research project meeting with oil and gas professionals from 50+ organizations across North America and the globe. With the goal of understanding how their organizations are using SAP technologies and what their impact is on organizational performance, the Hot Topics below reflect the issues that customers were most enthusiastic about.

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  • Organizational Culture & Change Management

    The top issue for most customers is managing the transformation change that their organizations are experiencing. Innovation is taking place along the three continuums of people, process and technology in the face of growing competition. New business models and technology means that more collaboration must happen across the value chain.  Collaboration is important and difficult to do in large organizations and requires large-scale behavioral change. How can leaders effectively communicate the need for change and what might the impact be on culture? What strategies are companies using to drive change? What does digital mean for the organization and for specific roles?

  • Data Visibility for Agility

    Analytics are on the radar screens of most CEOs. Data is recognized as an asset and visibility to reliable, actionable intelligence is critical to making decisions that drive both agility and efficiency.  More leaders are looking at the predictive element to drive efficiency and how to use predictive analytics as a differentiating investment.  The conversation around data and the data program maturity of organizations is moving from being a data-driven company to being a data-driven industry and how information is shared across the value chain is increasingly important for success. Leaders are asking, what is different now about the data journey that we didn’t see before?  How can we use advanced technology like robotic process automation? What is SAP’s roadmap for reporting in the S/4 landscape?

  • Maintaining Operating Efficiencies as Operations Scale Up

    During the downturn, finding strategic cost reductions and optimizing cash flows was been a priority for all segments of the value chain. Maintaining all the efficiencies that were achieved in the downturn and continuing to identify and reduce inefficiencies is of critical importance now. Organizations need to stay focused on process and watch out for rebound. How can technology and innovative business processes support risk-based cost reductions? How can companies mitigate inflation risk in supply chain as demand goes up? What are the most effective cost control mechanisms?

  • Master Data Management & Governance

    Cost control, productivity and efficiency improvement are enabled with accurate data and the foundation for finding efficiencies. The basis for predictive analytics and the pathway to digitalization all rely on master data – structure, management, and governance.  Aggregating data from across disparate sources to drive a single source of truth enables leadership to make accurate and timely decisions. The culture of the organization matters too, as data issues are as much about people and process and as they are about technology. How can we best manage and govern master data help us with digital transformation?

  • Sweating your Existing Technology Investments

    While the path to digitalization is on the minds of most companies, they are still focused on how to best leverage and extract even greater value from current technology solutions. Organizations want to better understand what they already own, how to unlock hidden value within their technology and get the most out of what they already have, while the ready themselves for digital transformation.

  • The Roadmap for Digitization

    The oil and gas industry knows there is extreme value in digitizing as a key competitive advantage providing unparalleled agility and transparency. Progress in cloud and in-memory computing as well as “Internet of Things” and the IT/OT Convergence, the Networked Economy and the Industry 4.0 landscape are enabling companies to streamline operations, maximize collaboration, and reduce costs across the board. However, companies are asking for clarity on this landscape, particularly around SAP’s industry-specific roadmap for getting there, as well as tangible ROIs for the short- and long-term.  What are the different pathways to S/4?  What are the pre-requisites? What are the specific roadmaps for all functions around S/4? What are the industry-specific S/4 solutions and implementation strategies? How can cloud solutions create a paradigm shift in data storage, management and analysis?

  • Operational Integrity & Asset Effectiveness

    Asset effectiveness is a competitive advantage, particularly when predictive analytics is applied to maintenance planning. The Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine-to-Machine communication have evolved into asset intelligence networks and organizations must develop strategies that manage not only asset data but the related, connected business networks that will both enhance productivity and reduce maintenance costs.  How can organizations more rapidly react to operational stresses to minimize failures and result in maximum availability? How can we marry Condition Based Maintenance with "big data" to accelerate analytics and respond faster? How can preventative maintenance reduce downtime and drive overall equipment effectiveness? What does the new partnership between SAP and GE mean for predictive analytics and predictive maintenance?

  • Well Economics & Drilling Efficiency

    In 2017, continues to be about going from volume to value.  Organizations are seeking deep analytical insights about well profitability, including spend analytics and production forecasting. There is value in real-time situational awareness at the well head to allow for agility.  Operators are demanding solutions to asses what’s required verses what’s discretionary. What are the best practices in production forecasting, target setting, dealing with production loss and improvement and ensuring accurate production volumes and data? How can data visibility and reporting, strong business processes and the use of telematics drive efficiency and profitability at the well-head?

  • The Hydrocarbon Supply Chain

    Organizations want to optimize efficiency and profitability as margins have tightened. There is a need to drive strategic and timely decision making in trading, as well as mechanisms for retailers to maximize their customer base and increase spends per customer. Hydrocarbon processing visibility including analytics and reporting at the refinery level are of great interest. Quality management as applied to the product is being driven by the IT/OT convergence at the plant/refinery level.  What are the best systems for trading and scheduling? How can hydrocarbon supply chain tools integrate with backend financial systems? How do retailers grow and maintain a loyal customer base to maximize sales? How can Quality Management be driven by IT/OT convergence?

  • Procurement

    Organizations are racing to find solutions that provide transparency across their vendor network and the tools to ensure they’re procuring products and components that are of high quality at the lowest prices possible. Organizations must track high volume suppliers for spend analytics and manage the vast supplier network.  Customers want to understand the latest business processes and technologies to cut costs and drive bottom-line profitability, including inventory and materials optimization to find hidden efficiencies and profits. How do we develop a greater clarity of scope and understanding of our supplier’s suppliers? How can we develop stronger partnerships with our vendors to enable automation and simplification?  What are the best mechanisms to increase integration across modules to support real time operational awareness?  How can we better understand and train on the basics of materials resource planning? How to create a strategy and direction for integrated planning

  • Cyber and Physical Security

    Cyber and physical security threats are real, and, if realized, these threats can sink a business. In 2017, it’s not just about protecting information, data and intellectual property – it’s also about protecting physical assets and infrastructure from real-world and virtual threats. Hackers are moving just as quickly as the technology is and business needs visibility to and a true understanding of what’s real and what’s hype. IT needs to get and stay ahead of potential threats.  What are the best practices in internal data security layering?  What are the best practices in workforce and physical infrastructure security?  How do we develop cybersecurity threat assessments and communicating gaps?

  • Safe Operations, EH&S & Regulatory Compliance

    The industry cannot continue to think of safety and regulatory compliance as a “cost.”  Business results show that companies who invest in safety are consistently top line performers. For example, leak detection is not just an environmental issue – it’s lost revenue. Risk mitigation is critical. Organizations are working to assess risk across the organization, maximize the EH&S of their operations and ensure regulatory compliance to reduce any possibility of environmental or workforce catastrophe that would deteriorate shareholder value. Preventing against critical life/safety failures equates to financial savings. What are the best practices in Operational Sustainability – API compliant processes and process safety controls?  How can we take advantage of IoT, mobility, operational analytics, and predictive maintenance?  What are the best practices in processes and technologies for supporting EH&S and regulatory compliance? How can we better respond proactively to EH&S threats to mitigate risk?

  • Capital Project Efficiency

    Every capital dollar has to be the best dollar spent. Investments in risk-mitigated, strategic and well-orchestrated capital projects are the linchpins for thriving under dynamic market conditions. The most successful organizations are those that have married the business strategy with a capital projects program that can be impeccably – and immediately executed. Investing in wells that you don’t drill does will not work. In-year activation is the winning growth strategy for 2017. How can we maximize capital project portfolio valuation, controls and competence? How is cross-functional involvement in capital project criticality driving capital spend efficiency?

 
 

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