How IT Can Enable Oil & Energy Firms to Survive the Oil Price Slump

Many firms in the oil sector are struggling due to the steep drop in oil prices.  Across the sector there has been a reduction in investment, and in many cases downsizing.  Planning for the future in these times can be tough, and changes need to be made in order to survive.  However, some firms are not only working on surviving but also putting themselves in a strong position to capitalise on opportunities when oil prices eventually rise and stabilise.  Furthermore, these firms are also making big changes towards digitalisation, and modernising the way they do business in spite of the slump.

Oil & Energy firms, both upstream and downstream, are typically highly complex.  Equipment, assets, process, systems, applications, broad webs of suppliers and customers, and a large and varied workforce are integral to keeping everything running at a profit.  Regulatory requirements are not getting looser but tighter, this all adds the huge running costs which do not get lower as the oil price does.

However, there are opportunities to be exploited.  The big question is how?

Align Business & IT

Oil & Energy enterprises will typically have thousands of applications, and the associated infrastructure to run and host these systems.  Therefore you should start by creating a common enterprise model accurately showing how IT systems support business processes and identify the need for process information and data.  From there, you can define the key applications for development and maintenance, and importantly, identify redundant and overlapping applications to be phased out.  This allows the enterprise to focus investments in the right areas.  Through this process, we’ve seen oil & energy enterprises save millions of dollars annually in support & maintenance costs.  Furthermore, it will allow you to focus important resources on developing a modern, digital enterprise architecture.

Adapt to New Digital Technologies

The downturn has brought forth many new technologies designed to improve efficiency and reduce costs. And they have already started making an impact.  Your firm will be looking into or already implementing new automation technologies, exploiting big data, or bringing in customer focused technologies such as multichannel marketing platforms.  Capital projects will still be a large feature, and ensuring all these projects run on-time and on-budget is not simple.

In order to bring in these new technologies successfully, different stakeholders and cross-functional teams will need to see how the solution fits with the current organisation, the changes that need to be made, understand the impact of change to mitigate risks.  Take your enterprise model and publish this to the web so everyone can see it.  Ensure those involved in change can access all the information they need to facilitate the transformation, and provide a platform for all parties to collaborate.

Set up for Rapid Reaction to Market Change

If the oil market picks up in the next 12-18 months, you need to be in a position to react rapidly to changes.  A well-defined company architecture, aligned to corporate goals will allow the organisation to react quickly when the time comes. This should include each employee having access to all the information they need to do their job, get trained, and understand how they fit into the wider context.

With the slump in oil prices continuing and no concrete timeline for when it will improve, can you afford to sit tight and hope for the best?  Or is it time to visualise the changes you need to make, and work together to transform your business?

Take a look at how Statoil save millions of dollars in annual IT maintenance, support and development costs through aligning IT and business.  Also at GKN/Volvo Aero, the savings were in excess of $1.5million a year.

Enterprise Architecture Management IS Collaboration – Gartner Doesn’t Get It


More and more QualiWare users consider a consensus-driven management philosophy and enterprise collaboration to be a key driver for business agility and innovation. This has always been essential for QualiWare when we design our products and services.

For several years, we have been surprised and disappointed that Gartner sticks to a rather traditional view on EA Tools, when they evaluate a vendor. For us, collaboration is such a central prerequisite for an enabling and outcome-driven enterprise design platform. For Gartner, collaboration is hardly mentioned in the criteria for evaluation and is completely lacking in several important areas.

QualiWare delivers a platform for Enterprise Architecture Management and several other management systems. For us, and for all of our customers, the collaboration features are core functions in the implemented information system. Further details on this can be found in our whitepaper Collaboration: The Key to Successful Enterprise Architecture.

Gartner’s evaluation criteria are not available in the public domain, so we cannot go into details in this blog. But suffice to say that Gartner ranks stuff like “print hardcopy” higher than the total sum of collaboration features in an EA tool.

It is particularly striking that the evaluation criteria neglect collaboration when Gartner in much of their research over the past five years have – like other analysts – argued that collaboration is key to the success of enterprise architecture. Perhaps the “magic” in the Magic Quadrant is a five-year delay? It certainly seems so.

Over the past year, QualiWare has doubled the number of users on our collaboration platform, which now has hundreds of thousands of users across enterprises around the globe. See our whitepaper for more evidence and customer examples.

The shift in EA towards collaboration is a response to several challenges. EA is at a crossroads, and should be regarded as a powerful problem finding and problem solving tool that supports transformational activities both on the strategic and operational levels. Read John Gøtze’s blog post about this.

QualiWare strongly recommends Gartner to include collaboration relevant criteria in future EA tool evaluations. We also encourage Gartner to make their evaluation criteria public and accessible to all, and engage in a public dialogue about these. QualiWare is very keen on engaging in such open dialogues, and open all our social platforms for that purpose: Make comments to this blog, or on our Linkedin page, to our Twitter handle, or on Facebook.

As a vendor, QualiWare has an obligatory relation with analyst firms. Gartner include QualiWare in their Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Architecture Tools. QualiWare is also included in the Forrester Wave for Enterprise Architecture Management Suites.

QualiWare Conference Coming Up

On 5-6 May, at Axelborg in Copenhagen, we hold the QualiWare user community’s annual gathering. The two days are packed with keynotes, thematic sessions, and customer cases. And a game.

We have four keynotes:

We also have a wide range of sessions and workshops, and several customer cases including Maersk Oil, SOS, OMV, SDC, ATP, and Apply Sørco. See the full program here.

Seats are still available, and you can register here.


QualiWare international conference 2015

The conference is packed with workshops, keynotes and customer presentations covering the fields of enterprise architecture, business transformation, and compliance.

As you know, QualiWare wants to be your preferred platform when you do enterprise architecture, process improvement, compliance management, application portfolio management, business transformation, and more. The conference program has therefore been designed to offer something for all our customer segments.

Customer cases include Maersk Oil with enterprise architecture in a highly regulated market, ATP and their 15 years of transformation using QualiWare, SOS International, and OMV with their approach to enterprise architecture.

As always, we in QualiWare strive to help you deliver value through positive change. We have invited some world-class speakers on key trends in this comprehensive field, and would like to introduce you to our related offerings for enterprise design, business transformation, capability modelling, and enterprise investment.

Join us, learn, and get new inspiration from other QualiWare customers’ experiences.

The conference is also an excellent opportunity to meet and network with other users of QualiWare’s software and services.

View the conference page here.

View the full program here.

Register here.