Like a lot of Oil & Gas companies, Statoil has felt the effects of the low oil price on its margins. But this has had the benefit of prodding the organisation to shed its conservative culture in favour of a more digital approach to business. Again, like many companies, Statoil is awash with data but has so far not unlocked the potential value from it. Which is why they recently announced that they have engaged Capgemini to help them realise their digital strategy.
The three-year deal is to “support Statoil and its Digital Centre of Excellence (CoE) with services to further develop and deliver Statoil’s digital roadmap”. I spoke to Jens Middborg, Head of Capgemini’s Norway West as well as their Energy Utility Lead, about the deal. He told me Capgemini was selected by Statoil for a number of reasons: firstly, their overall Oil & Gas sector experience; their ability to develop digital strategies through design thinking (as they have done at other global companies such as Airbus); and their ability to provide “a connected global and local analytics team”.
It is this analytics capability that is at the core of the offering, and the main source of value. Statoil’s ambitions with their digital strategy are huge, touching every part of the business: their three main areas of focus being process digitisation, advanced analytics and robotic and remote control. But every ambitious journey must start somewhere, and with this deal the first thing to do is to work out what data is there and what value it may hold: Jens refers to this as the ‘data engineering stage’.
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In time, this will lead to delivering radical improvements to Statoil’s business, potentially using RPA to automate processes and machine learning to predict aspects of the company’s activities, from exploration to production and through to distribution. But, sensibly, they won’t be trying to do everything at once. I questioned Jens on the relative shortness of the deal, considering everything that needed to be done. He agrees that this is only the start of a very long journey that will require huge cultural, as well as technological, change, and sees the 3 years as just an initial phase. “Right now, we just need to get access to data and see what they’ve got”.
Just like many engineering-based businesses, Statoil have clearly realised that there is potential value in the data they have in order to make them more competitive. But that is really the easy part, and using data analytics experts, such as Capgemini, to unlock all of that value certainly makes a lot of sense.
About the author
Andrew Burgess has been the lead architect within several major change projects, including strategic development, IT transformation and outsourcing, in a wide range of industries across four continents. He has developed and implemented sourcing strategies for global organisations, running sourcing programs and helping re-organise IT departments to maximise their value from sourcing. Andrew was recently awarded ‘Automation Champion of the Year’ by the GSA, the industry association and professional body for the global sourcing industry. He is widely considered to be a leading expert in the growing Legal Transformation and Outsourcing market and has recently written ‘The Rise of Legal Services Outsourcing’ in collaboration with the London School of Economics (LSE). Andrew’s latest book, ‘The Executive Guide to Artificial Intelligence‘ has recently been published by Palgrave Macmillan. Andrew is a council member of the Global Sourcing Association and is Head of Consulting at HG Insights.