When you think of the digital revolution, most people don’t think about the oil and gas industry. While it’s true that the shift to increasingly digital technology solutions isn’t always sudden and dramatic, the organic changes that are occurring in the industry over time are just as revolutionary in their impacts on productivity, safety, and consumer engagement.

Here are five ways that digital technology is changing the face of the oil and gas industry as we know it.

1. Big data and analytics

Oil and gas is awash in information. With the rise of inexpensive sensors, the effectiveness and efficiency of equipment can be tracked to an incredible degree of specificity. So much of this data goes to waste, though, unless it is analyzed.

More and more companies are coming to see the value of data analysis, not just to track progress, but to identify trends and make intelligent predictions about things as small as a piece of equipment or as large as major weather events or international consumer behavior, empowering industry players to stay ahead of whatever’s coming down the line

2. Automation and smart technology

Automation, of course, isn’t anything new. That’s a path that the oil and gas industry has been walking for many years. What is new is the dramatically more intelligent integration of various systems, allowing machines to communicate with one another and adjust their behavior accordingly.

When smart technology can make some of these decisions based on real-time data originating in a wide variety of sensors, adjustments are made more quickly, dangerous situations are averted before they happen, and downtime as a result of human errors in judgment is reduced.

3. Consumer engagement

Today’s consumers demand transparency and engagement from the companies they do business with, and this increasingly applies to their energy providers as well. Digital engagement on social media, interaction in connection with their personal energy use (especially as it concerns their home and vehicle), and regularly updated information in formats that are informative and engaging for digital natives all serve to increase trust and loyalty in younger consumers for whom authenticity is the name of the game.

4. Collaboration

How is information recorded in the field? How are decisions made among geographically remote individuals? And once those decisions are made, how are they communicated quickly and effectively? Digital technology has empowered formerly isolated individuals and groups to communicate and collaborate regardless of physical location, creating a culture that calls for broader input and improved consultation overall.

5. Safety and mobile technology

Oil and gas can be a dangerous business in which workers regularly put their lives on the line. Mobile reporting is making this work safer. FirstHand is an app that takes much of the guesswork out of safety reporting, providing real-time reports, tracking incidents, and doing analysis so that health and safety officers are able to do their jobs more effectively and with less chance of error.

Take the next step into the digital age of oil and gas.

Request a FirstHand demo today.