Digital Journey Roadmap: The Next Steps for the Oil and Gas Industry

Posted on: September 7, 2016 by Dr. Erwin Dijkstra

Digital transformation may not be unique to the oil and gas industry, but it will play an important part of how the market develops over the coming years. This article will provide some useful perspectives on how organizations in the sector can plan their digital journeys…


Centre of Excellence

Firstly, organizations need to manage their capabilities and expertise. A team of well-trained and experienced people is no longer enough; now teams must have the skills needed to derive benefits from data and analytics systems. The following components are essential in any modern project:

  • Well-trained and experienced people: in data science, subject matter expertise and business experts
  • Executing well-defined processes
  • Fit-for-purpose tools and platforms
  • Appropriate governance, guidance and standards
  • Clear understanding on the results and outcomes expected
  • Continuous lifecycle development and innovation of these capabilities

Provide the capabilities with the appropriate mandate and you effectively have the core of your Centre of Excellence (CoE). Any new data driven insight can require a minor or major change in business processes to have maximum effect on business value and effectiveness of the organization. With this in mind, it is highly recommended to create Centres of Excellence for both Data & Analytics, and Business Process Lifecycle Management. These initiatives should also be tightly connected and able to collaborate closely.

The image below shows a high-level overview of a Digital Transformation Roadmap:


As you can see, Proof of Values (PoVs) will be conducted to provide first insights within a few weeks. To get concrete in depth insights and models which are concrete and implementable for amended processes or new services will typically take several months. The PoVs can also contribute to definition of reference architecture and implementation plan.

Next, a Proof of Concept or pilot can test a particular platform against those requirements, which can then be used to extrapolate the expected usage of a Data Lake environment. Typically, within one year the key ingredients to become a data driven company can be put in place: Advanced Analytics and Business Lifecycle CoEs with the appropriate tools and mandate.

The CoEs will establish a strategy that will guide roadmap, create the insights, put in model governance in place and drive the implementations. They also will develop the roadmaps, which will comprise typically of the use cases as described in my previous blogs on the impact of data analytics within the industry. The CoEs will collaborate with the business lines, with R&D, with subject matter experts and with industry leaders. The roadmaps that they will create will cover the entire business ecosystem.

The Digital Transformation Journey comprises of number of complex topics. The most prominent ones are listed in following diagram. None of these are simple to achieve. The realization will require:

  • Strong vision
  • Top Leadership support
  • CoE core teams with mandate to drive the changes
  • Flexibility in and access to large pool of right capabilities, which will be different over time
  • Drive the changes by end-to-end user stories to get the business value while you change the business


All companies that I work with have started their digital journey; they have good datasets, some analytical platform(s) and skilled people. But they run into challenges on their way: not getting to the insights to demonstrate the business case, not getting to changing to get the benefits of these insights, struggling with deciding the right tools, unable to combine business understanding and subject matter expertise with advanced analytics teams, where to start with implementing such an ambitious program.

In my experience Atos can help by augmenting your organization to get appropriate capabilities in place, develop the CoEs and technology landscape to support it. Our approach is end-to-end by implementing use cases user story by user story.

For further information on how digital technologies are changing the oil and gas industry, take a look at my previous blogs here and here.

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About Dr. Erwin Dijkstra
Head of Atos Codex Offers for IoT, analytics and AI, Distinguished Expert and member of the Scientific Community
Erwin Dijkstra is responsible for Atos Codex Offers in IoT, analytics and Artificial Intelligence. Erwin has a PhD in Solid State Physics, has worked almost a decade for a leading Oil company in drilling, petroleum engineering and field development planning. Erwin is a member of the Atos Scientific Community that is the best 135 scientific people from within the group who are “creators of change”, making sure that whenever our clients choose Atos they always get the best solutions available in their journey to digital transformation. In Erwin’s view, as a business expert, he has a duty to keep learning with its customers, to keep actively engaging with disruptive innovative ideas, to have regular exchange with his peers and expert communities, and to be open to investigating new developments. He is fully committed to help Atos and Atos’ clients anticipate and craft their vision regarding upcoming technology disruptions and the new challenges facing our industry.

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