By Piet Moeleker - Chief Information Officer - TechnologyCatalogue.com
The energy industry has truly pushed technological boundaries over time. Yet, it is also clear that there is significant room to further accelerate technology deployment to address current challenges such as climate change, digitalisation, ageing assets, cost pressures.
As a result, many people have been tasked with building a Technology Plan for their organisation. In this blog we give you some practical guidance to get started with creating such a plan.
Understanding the business challenges and opportunities
As a starting point, collect the business challenges and opportunities. The starting point can be a business improvement theme, such as CO2 reduction or Digitalisation. Next, it is important to seek specific input from people across the organisation. This can be done in different ways, e.g. by interviewing people, or by simply asking people to respond to an e-mail with the question what the 3 to 5 main challenges are that the person faces in his or her job.
Existing information, such as a risk register or the scope and schedule for an upcoming turnaround, can also provide input.
Identifying technologies to address the business needs
The next step is to find and select technologies to address the needs. Very few assets and projects are truly unique. Your company’s specific challenges are often not that different from other operators active in the same geographical area (like the North Sea or Middle East) or industrial sectors (like onshore gas, deepwater oil or a refinery). Technologies deployed by your peers or competitors have a good chance of also helping your needs. But where do you find what your peers/competitors are using?
And if your business needs call for CO2 reduction or safety improvement technologies, how do you find the relevant technologies and rank them against each other?
We started TechnologyCatalogue.com to support you with finding solutions to address your business needs. The platform was developed based on 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. Similar to how we use platforms such as TripAdvisor or Booking.com in our daily life to find out about restaurants or hotels.
By now, the platform contains over 600 technologies, with hundreds more in the pipeline. We give end-users the tools such that they can easily find and select the right technologies to address their business needs. Suppliers provide the information about their technologies including deployment data by companies (if allowed to share). Independent reviews by users/experts give you checks and balances and first-hand user experience feedback.
TechnologyCatalogue.com provides the intelligence and benchmarking data to compare deployments of your peers/competitors and rank technologies based on impact as CO2, cost, safety or production. We call this product the Insights Navigator and it will allow you to quickly select relevant technologies for your Technology Plan. The Insights Navigator is available as part of a TechnologyCatalogue.com company subscription.
The Insights Navigator
The Insights Navigator shows the information in different ways, dependent on the type of information that you need, and the level of detail. The tool provides you with a quick overview of the activity level of your company compared to your peers. You will be able to zoom in and click on the chart. It will give you a shortlist of technologies deployed by your peers/competitors
You will be able to zoom in further. Per theme and subtheme, specific technologies are listed that have been successfully deployed by other companies, but not yet by your company. By clicking on the technology name, you will go directly to the technology page on the platform.
Technologies can be compared and ranked on relative business impact of CO2, cost, production or safety in a bubble chart. Each bubble is clickable, and leads to the technology page on the platform.
And there’s more to it... We would be happy to give you a full demo.
What if I can’t find what I’m looking for?
In case the platform doesn’t show a suitable technology to address your business need, you can effectively leverage the large global TechnologyCatalogue.com community by submitting a challenge from within your company space. Once submitted, the challenge is visible to our large global user community. See: https://www.technologycatalogue.com/challenges.
You have a choice to submit challenges anonymously or with your company name, which will typically raise the interaction level. Suppliers and consultants can react to challenges by submitting solutions to you. We will ensure that the right people will get notified of your challenges.
The list of identified technologies forms the input for a workshop in order to select the shortlist to take to deployment. Depending on the size of your company, it can be one single workshop in which a technology screening is done for the entire company. It can also be done through a series of workshops.
The workshop can be held face-to-face, but it’s also perfectly fine to do through a series of video calls.
The people to be invited for the workshop need to be directly involved with the challenges, and be in a role where they can take the follow-up action leading to getting the technology used.
The following can serve as agenda for such workshop:
- Safety & Introductions. Kick-off by a senior leader to clearly give the message that it is an activity that senior management considers important.
- Per business challenge: go through the list of identified technologies. Assess impact and do-ability, and rank the technologies accordingly.
- Shortlist technologies: Decide which technologies to take forward for deployment.
- For each shortlisted technology, identify the Technology Deployment Lead and the Decision Maker. The Technology Deployment Lead is responsible for creating the plan, for seeking approval, and for delivery of the plan.
- Next steps & closure. Present the workshop outcome to the senior leader. This way, you immediately highlight the potential size of the prize to the company!
The work doesn’t stop at the workshop. Following the workshop a detailed plan needs to be worked out for each identified technology. Essentially, every technology deployment needs to be treated like a project. The Technology Plan is a compilation of the individual project plans, with a management summary upfront. Once ready, the plan needs to be presented to senior leadership for endorsement/sign-off.
If you need specific technical expertise to build and deliver the plan, we can help you to connect with the right people. Besides suppliers and end-users, we also have a large and active community of over 140 technical experts. They provide support - if and when required - to assess technologies and get them deployed.
There are many opportunities to make a difference with technology. A fit-for-purpose Technology Plan is thereby key. Through this blog, we hope you gained some insights on which steps to take.
We can support you with building a Technology Plan, and also help you with setting yourself up for success such that you can do it yourself in the future with a minimum of external support.