Cloud Computing, Coming to an Oil and Gas Company Near You

For many in the Oil and Gas industry cloud computing might seem like a confusing IT buzzword with very little substance. Trying to wade through the complexities of all its offshoots (public, private, on-premise cloud) without understanding the base concept probably just makes things worse. So is this just technology for technology’s sake or are there some real benefits to cloud computing for Oil and Gas?

The answer is unequivocally yes. Cloud computing will significantly change the way the Oil and Gas industry will use IT, and, in fact, the change is already underway.

Brad - Cloud in Oil - Nov 19

Not so new after all

The term cloud computing can be a bit vague but if you instead think of it in terms of the function it actually performs, it becomes straightforward. If cloud computing was called “Hosted Application Services” it might not be so confusing!

It’s easy to appreciate the skepticism of many who don’t understand the value of cloud for Oil and Gas. In the past, new IT paradigms haven’t always lived up to their hype, and many were simply not applicable to the unique challenges of the Oil and Gas industry. Cloud computing is different because it shares many of the characteristics of other technologies that have delivered new value to the industry, such as: reducing operational costs, reducing non-productive time (NPT), and reducing business risk and uncertainty.

History repeats itself

More then 20 years ago client-server computing dramatically changed how companies used applications by bringing the application, data, and compute power directly to the desktop and in the hands of the user. As computer technology became critical to Oil and Gas professionals, they demanded faster innovation and flexibility. The traditional mainframe paradigm of IT could not provide the speed of innovation that the new generation of interpreters and engineers demanded. They wanted direct access to the new applications being written for oil and gas without being handcuffed to a slow and complex centralized IT infrastructure. The adoption of the client-server model empowered those users with a wave of application innovation and significantly more compute power to perform more complex analyses with far more data then previously possible. The downside was increased IT complexity, a reduction in economies of scale, and increased IT spending as hardware, software licensing, and data storage prices ballooned.

In a way, with cloud computing today, we’re moving back to a centralized data and compute environment, but one without the hardware limitations of the old mainframe model.

The new paradigm

A recent article published by the American Oil & Gas Reporter shows how cloud computing is establishing strong inroads within the oil and gas industry: “Oil and gas operations are field intensive, and there is readily attainable value to be derived from deploying cloud-based services.”

That value will be delivered through cloud computing’s ability to allow even greater innovation and economies of scale for everyone. From large companies to individual consultants, cloud computing will level the playing field.

In fact, most of us are already using a cloud-based service of some kind, it just happens to be on our personal smartphones. Most popular online email and file sharing services are good examples of cloud computing on a personal scale. The same kind of technology is enabling us to connect on social networks, transfer files seamlessly, and even access data and applications without having to own, support, or manage it on your device. Imagine this in the oil and gas industry.

In my next blog, I’ll explore why cloud computing will be adopted in the Oil and Gas sector and discuss its specific benefits to the industry.

About Brad Bechtold

As Director of Cisco Canada's Oil and Gas vertical business, Brad Bechtold is responsible for developing and leading Cisco's go to market strategy for Oil and Gas. In his role Brad is working with industry partners, education institutions, and Oil and Gas organizations to align Cisco's technology solutions to the critical challenges facing the industry today. With more then 25 years in Oil and Gas experience Brad Bechtold brings industry relevant knowledge to Cisco Canada's Industry Transformation Team. Prior to joining Cisco, Brad spent 18 years with Halliburton. A global leader in the energy services sector. During his tenure with Halliburton, Brad spent 13 years in a global capacity. As Director for Halliburton's GeoGraphix product line, Brad was responsible for global Operations, R&D, Sales and Marketing. Brad spent 4 years as Director for Mergers and Acquisitions for the Landmark Graphics business unit, resulting is several strategic acquisitions. Brad brings more then a decade of sales and management leadership in the Canadian oil and Gas industry including Regional General Manager for Halliburton's Landmark Graphics business unit. Brad Bechtold resides In Calgary Alberta and holds a Diploma in Business Management for the SAIT Polytechnic in Calgary. À titre de directeur des affaires du marché vertical du secteur pétrolier et gazier de Cisco Canada, M. Bechtold est responsable de l'élaboration et de la gestion de la stratégie de mise en marché à l'intention des entreprises du secteur pétrolier et gazier. Dans ce rôle, il travaille avec des partenaires de l'industrie, des établissements d'enseignement et des entreprises gazières et pétrolières pour faire en sorte que les solutions technologiques de Cisco relèvent les défis auxquels est confronté le secteur aujourd'hui. Possédant plus de 25 années d'expérience du secteur pétrolier et gazier, M. Bechtold vient enrichir l'équipe responsable de la transformation industrielle de Cisco Canada grâce à ses connaissances pertinentes du secteur. Avant d'entrer au service de Cisco, M. Bechtold a travaillé pendant 18 ans chez Halliburton, leader mondial du secteur des services énergétique. Durant sa carrière au sein de cette société, il a passé 13 années à jouer un rôle sur la scène internationale. En tant que directeur de la gamme de produits GeoGraphix d'Halliburton, il était responsable des activités mondiales, de la recherche et du développement et de la mercatique. M. Bechtold a également joué le rôle de directeur des fusions et acquisitions de l'unité commerciale Landmark Graphics pendant quatre années durant lesquelles il a réalisé plusieurs acquisitions stratégiques. Il possède plus d'une décennie d'expérience de leadership en vente et en gestion dans le secteur pétrolier et gazier canadien, y compris à titre de directeur général régional de Landmark Graphics. M. Bechtold vit à Calgary, Alberta et est titulaire d'un diplôme en gestion des affaires de la SAIT Polytechnic de Calgary.
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