In one of our previous blog “ Getting technology deployed and replicated - 3 tips for suppliers”, we shared three tips for suppliers to increase the chances that technology gets deployed and replicated. In this blog, we share three tips for Operators.
1. Make someone in your company responsible for Technology Deployment
No one would argue with the statement that effective technology deployment is essential to reap the full benefit from technology & innovation efforts.
Strangely enough, though, there are very few companies that we know of that have someone who is overall responsible for the technology deployment drive within the company.
Very often the role of a CTO, VP Technology or people with similar job titles stops the moment a technology is ready for deployment, and the business is supposed to take it from there. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
People that are busy with meeting production targets or project milestones often don’t have the time and/or the specific expertise required to get technology deployed. As a result, they stick to conventional practices.
It is therefore essential to make someone within your company responsible for technology deployment, to ensure that technology gets deployed and replicated across the applicable base.
The following lines may be part of the job description of such a person:
It is essential that we apply appropriate technology fast and efficiently, such that our company becomes an innovative energy company and increases its competitiveness.
You will be responsible for keeping a live overview of the challenges and opportunities related to all business activities of our company
You will be responsible for screening the market for suitable (digital and non-digital) technologies, focusing on technologies successfully used by others; demonstrated by deployment references and reviews. As well as technologies that are still under development.
You will have to develop & deliver robust technology deployment plans for selected technologies
You are responsible for achieving significant business value through technology deployment, whereby the progress is reported on a monthly basis to senior management.
You must ensure that technology gets sustainably embedded.
This will only be achieved through strong, collaborative working with numerous senior stakeholders across the company as well as external parties.
In an ideal world, there would be no need for such a role; the business would pick up technology automatically. However, the world is not ideal, and someone has to make sure that technology deployment gets done!
Such a role does require someone with solid industry experience & passion for technology. As getting technology deployed is very much an influencing game, it also
requires excellent interpersonal, communication and networking skills. And equally well, it requires someone who has an optimistic mindset and is persistent and pragmatic.
In a nutshell, it does require a person who may also be a candidate for other senior roles within your company. And such person will only be freed up if senior management is convinced of the impact that can be realised through technology deployment… More on that below!
2. Replicate what has worked for others
Operators sometimes tend to believe that their challenges are unique. It hardly ever is the case; particularly not in the Oil & Gas industry.
For example, when you’re operating a mature asset Offshore UK, your challenges are pretty much the same as the challenges of assets elsewhere Offshore UK, or elsewhere in the North Sea.
The quickest wins are typically technologies that have been successfully used by others. And you can be sure that there are many examples. We are speaking from experience when we make that statement! Before starting TechnologyCatalogue.com, our company founders used to lead technology deployment activities in support of assets across Shell. The ‘Technology Replication Thrust for Production Excellence’ as it was called all started on the basis that technologies were deployed in one part of Shell, and not across the applicable base. Or used outside of Shell, and not within Shell.
Over 600 deployments were successfully delivered, resulting in a very significant impact on safety, production and cost.
The experience with Technology Deployment and Replication in Shell formed the basis for our company, and our main product, TechnologyCatalogue.com. The platform was developed based on the first-hand experience that it is often difficult for decision-makers to stay up to date on available technology-driven improvement opportunities for their business.
User/expert reviews, as well as, deployment records give the confidence to accelerate the uptake of technology. Nothing gives more confidence than a review from someone we trust. Such review doesn’t need to belong, a few sentences can be sufficient to think: “perhaps this is something I should consider as well for my project”. This is not different from daily consumer life, where we rely on the opinions of other people to e.g. book hotels and restaurants, or decide which car to buy.
3. Use the tangible examples to convince your senior management
Senior Management often express that technology & innovation is important. At the same time, we have often seen that senior managers don’t really realize (or: believe) that there is so much to be gained from technology. Also, many of them consider technology something of high risk and high cost.
Hence it is critical to get that perception right, and to show them the examples! And best you can do is to show tangible examples of technology deployments done for companies that operate similar assets under similar conditions.
Senior managers are human beings like all of us. Convince them the way you want them to get convinced. Think about the plumber you contracted to get the critical repair work done in your house, all based on the ‘thumbs up’ of your neighbour. Or think about the house you bought, based on the references from multiple friends that already live in the same part of town. That’s how it works in our consumer lives, and that’s how it works in business as well.
Technology deployment does not happen automatically, it is a lot of hard work. We know that from experience. Fortunately, there are things that can be done to get technology deployment going.
It is critical that someone in your company drives technology deployment, whereby the quickest wins can be made by replicating what has worked for others. Reviews and references help to make the case towards senior management such that they truly see and believe how much there is to be gained with technology, particularly in today’s business environment!
Only following the three tips is not sufficient. All critical success factors for technology deployment need to be considered, see one of our earlier blogs: https://www.technologycatalogue.com/how-effective-your-company-getting-technology-deployed]. But by following the three tips, you can make a good start!
Please contact us at email@example.com for further information, or to discuss further!
The founders of TechnologyCatalogue.com led technology deployment activities in support of assets across Shell. Over 600 deployments were successfully delivered, resulting in a very significant impact on safety, production and cost. We understand what it takes to get technology deployed, including all change management aspects related to it. Since starting TechnologyCatalogue.com in March 2018, we have supported multiple Operators in Upstream and Downstream with technology deployment.
Our platform TechnologyCatalogue.com was developed based on the first-hand experience that it is often difficult for decision-makers to stay up to date on available technology-driven improvement opportunities for their business. It was launched in Q3 2018 and is steadily growing in terms of content & functionality. Since the launch, ~30,000 unique users have accessed the platform. We’re also developing customised versions of the platform. For example, jointly with National Energy Resources Australia, we have delivered a customised version of the portal for Australia (Nera.TechnologyCatalogue.com). In Q3 2020, the UK Energy Technology Platform will be launched, in partnership with Carjon-NRG.
In addition to TechnologyCatalogue.com, we also support suppliers and end-users with getting technology deployment done, through consultancy & workshops.