3 Ways to Navigate Disruption in the Energy Sector

Tom Wilson, Global Industry Leader, Energy
August 2, 2021

Now more than ever, the energy industry is facing disruption that impacts costs, damages productivity, and threatens the success of the industry. To combat this, organizations are looking to implement new technology solutions that allow them to stay resilient and agile when the unexpected happens.

Here are three of the most prevalent disruptors in the industry today, and how digital capabilities can help organizations respond:

1) Cyber threats

As we saw with the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack, the threat of cyber attacks is very real and very damaging to the industry and to society as a whole. This is why energy may become one of the most targeted industries for cyber attacks moving forward.

It is crucial for organizations to have technology in place that will not only help anticipate and prepare for potential cyber attacks but also enable an efficient and effective response to such attacks so businesses can bounce back as quickly as possible.

Here are some key capabilities to look for when choosing a solution to help combat cyber threats:

  • Identifies potential risk areas where threats could occur.
  • Reduces risk with established security verification steps.
  • Increases accountability and communication among key stakeholders.
  • Provides flexibility to adapt security processes based on both internal and external learnings.

2) Natural disasters

In recent months, weather disasters such as wildfires and snow storms have inhibited operations and, in some instances, left many without power for days. Energy organizations were called to respond quickly, to get operations up and running, and to bring safety and security back to their customers. However, a fast response can prove challenging when internal processes are inefficient and communication is siloed.

To better prepare for extreme weather, organizations will need to enhance collaboration and increase flexibility so they can maintain operations through a disruption.

Here are some key capabilities to look for when choosing a solution to help address weather incidents:

  • Connects all phases of the incident with automated processes to improve response effectiveness.
  • Mobilizes personnel involved with ease of escalation, notifications, and collaboration.
  • Provides stakeholder reporting to maintain control and visibility into the progress being made.
  • Orchestrates field inspections and preventive maintenance to ensure assets are incident-ready.

3) Sustainability

There’s an ever-growing urgency in the industry to adapt operations to meet a greener, more sustainable standard. This is due in part to increasing regulation  as well as pressure from investors to meet certain sustainability requirements.

Organizations will have to rethink their ways of operating and provide accurate reporting on all practices moving forward to ensure their sustainability initiatives are on the right track.

Here are some key capabilities to look for when choosing a solution for sustainability:

  • Enhances process flexibility to address the constantly evolving sustainability criteria. 
  • Provides a unified view of all data needed for reporting, such as performance indicators and risk parameters. 
  • Integrates with other systems across the organization to access necessary information and identify process areas that are causing waste.

Resilience is the future of the energy sector.

While disruption will remain a constant in the energy industry, technology innovation is helping organizations stay resilient and allowing them to pivot their operations in keeping with the future of the industry. 

The Appian Low-Code Automation Platform is perfectly suited to pave the way for a resilient future for energy. To learn more, read our new ebook, Prepare for the Future of Energy.