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IoT Accelerating Digital Transformation in Sectors Like Oil & Gas

Joshua Hoffman
June 10, 2015

The Internet of Things movement is at the center of digital transformation. At its core, the IoT is about gathering data from diverse sources, empowering machines to respond to that information automatically and delivering relevant data to end users so they can work efficiently. These principles naturally align with the digital transformation being driven by the rise of cloud, social and mobile technologies. As the IoT integrates with cloud, social and mobile apps, businesses can use IoT-related data to transform operations.

"Oil and gas companies can use BPM tools to support digital transformation."

The oil and gas industry is a clear benefactor of this digital transformation, and business process management solutions can help oil and gas companies align their processes with the data generated by IoT devices. A recent report from The Globe and Mail explained that the IoT is contributing to digital transformation in a diverse range of sectors, and the oil and gas industry is one of the markets it mentioned.

IoT changing the way people work

The news source pointed to the story of one IT service provider that was supporting an oil and gas company that was hit by a tornado. The Internet was out in the area and many mobile signal towers were down. However, IoT devices attached to trucks were using a satellite network, and drivers in the field were able to communicate via text messages enabled by the devices to navigate to safety.

This is just one example of how the IoT is changing the way people collaborate in the workplace. Oil and gas companies can use IoT devices to monitor pipelines, support logistics initiatives and integrate field sensors with management platforms.

The IoT is among the trends driving digital innovation in the oil and gas sector.

The IoT is among the trends driving digital innovation in the oil and gas sector.

While this operational transformation creates incredible potential for value creation, it is also a monumental shift in how organizations operate, industry expert Stephen Gardiner told the news source.

"I don't think there's a lot of [IoT] naysayers, but this is still a massive shift," said Gardiner. "The integration of sensors, devices, connectivity and analytics into a business process Ö that's very difficult for many of our clients to accomplish on their own."

Using BPM to support the digital transformation

Oil and gas companies can use BPM tools to support the digital transformation that comes along with the IoT. BPM solutions can serve as application development platforms where users can quickly create new apps or fine-tune existing solutions so the data generated by the IoT and similar digital tools can be tightly integrated with processes. The hardware innovation driven by digital transformation will only go so far - data needs to be integrated with apps to drive value, and BPM software makes that possible.