The Role of IT/OT Convergence in Oil and Gas
The oil and gas industry can benefit from the operational insights that IT/OT convergence provides. Predictive maintenance, in particular, helps improve safety and control costs.
The lines between information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) are starting to blur. IT/OT convergence has already entered full force in areas such as the manufacturing industry, where internet-of-things (IOT) adoption is reaching new heights. As Industry 4.0 expands to other sectors, industries such as oil and gas are starting to undergo IT/OT convergence, too.
The industrial world as a whole is becoming increasingly digital and data-driven. Although the oil and gas industry hasn't always been on the cutting edge of technology, it might not have a choice for much longer. Digital transformation is becoming more than just an advantage. Before long, it'll be a necessity.
IT/OT convergence in the oil and gas industry is inevitable, in part because its benefits are too substantial and the sector's problems are too significant.
Why the Oil and Gas Industry Needs IT/OT Convergence
IT/OT convergence is a necessary step for the oil and gas sector for many reasons. First of all, the industry is prone to disruption. Spills, leaks, and outages are common occurrences, and these can be both costly and dangerous. The 2013 Tesoro pipeline spill, for example, took five years and $100 million to clean.
Bringing IT and OT together can provide the insights companies need to mitigate operational problems. IOT devices can help pinpoint problems when they arise, leading to faster response times. Predictive analytics from real-time data can help improve operations to prevent these issues in the first place.
The oil and gas industry also must modernize to stay relevant amid shifting markets. Renewables such as solar and wind now generate 12% of U.S. electricity, and today's consumers demand sustainability.
Business insights from IOT sensors can show oil and gas companies how to become more sustainable. The cost savings of IT/OT convergence can also help the industry lower consumer costs, remaining competitive in a changing market.