Q: A recent Frost & Sullivan report cites human resources as a big driver of transformation within the oil and gas industry: "At least 50 percent of the current workforce in this sector is eligible for retirement in the next 5-10 years." Is this a problem or an opportunity for the industry? (And how many people is that?)
A: The scenario of decline in the number of skilled workers in energy-related industries is inevitable. The fact that rich industry knowledge, accumulated over decades, is being drained puts many end-users at the risk-- continuing sustainable operations and maintaining performance excellence is no guarantee. At the same time this is clearly an opportunity for industry solution providers of simulation, operator training, automation systems and software enablement. We have observed several market opportunities arise out of the situation as end-users come to terms in dealing with 'digital natives' entry into the industry. Although the learning curve for these new entrants could be very high, utilizing optimal technologies to supplant their inexperience is very much underway.
Moreover, as operations in oil and gas become more distant and remote, there is a need for a solution that centralizes monitoring, management and control of the assets in real time. This is the biggest opportunity we see in the market over the next decade. Frost & Sullivan coined a term for this - Totally Integrated Digital Operations (TIDO). TIDO is actually integrating several functional areas and creating collaborative workspaces with the ecosystem partners and experts-on-demand.
--Muthuraman Ramasamy is Senior Industry Analyst at Frost & Sullivan, a global growth consulting company headquartered in Mountain View, CA.
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