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Perspectives

An energy industry perspective: Tech Trends 2018

The symphonic enterprise

​Evidence of technology's disruptive impact on the oil and gas and power and utilities industries is clear and growing. Two new publications provide an energy industry view of Tech Trends 2018: The symphonic enterprise, Deloitte's ninth examination of the forces that are redefining information technology (IT), business, and society in general.

2018 Tech Trends for the energy industry

Technology trends facing the energy industry

Eight trends are shaping strategic and operational transformations and redefining IT's role within energy-producing organizations.

  1. Reengineering technology: Building new IT delivery models from the top down and bottom up
    With business strategies inextricably linked to technology, leading energy organizations are fundamentally rethinking how they envision, deliver, and evolve technology solutions. They are taking a combined bottom-up approach to modernizing both infrastructure and the architecture stack and a top-down approach to organizing, operating, and delivering technology capabilities. Used in tandem, these approaches offer the tools, velocity, and empowerment that will help define the technology organization of tomorrow.
  2. No-collar workforce: Humans and machines in one loop—collaborating in roles and new talent models
    With automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and cognitive technologies gaining traction, an opportunity exists to reinvent work roles, assigning some to humans, others to machines, and still others to a hybrid model in which technology augments human performance. Managing both man and machine will require a new kind of human resources (HR) organization—one that simultaneously retrains augmented workers and pioneers new HR processes for managing virtual workers, cognitive agents, bots, and the other AI-driven capabilities comprising the "no-collar" workforce.
  3. Enterprise data sovereignty: If you love your data, set it free
    As data grows exponentially in both volume and strategic importance, there is an increasing demand to manage it better, differently, and more safely—to "free" enterprise data so that it is accessible, understandable, and actionable across business units, departments, and geographies. The enterprise data sovereignty trend provides energy companies with a blueprint for turning themselves into data-driven organizations. But doing so requires modern approaches to data architecture and governance, as well as long-term investments in data integration, cataloging, security, lineage, and other areas.
  4. The new core: Unleashing the digital potential in "heart-of-the-business" operations
    Back- and mid-office processes such as finance and supply chain are using the confluence of next-generation enterprise resource planning (ERP), core modernization, blockchain, machine intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), and other technologies to define a new core: symbiotic building blocks in a larger enterprise ecosystem that work in concert to reshape business.
  5. Digital reality: The focus shifts from technology to opportunity
    Energy companies are laying the groundwork for broader deployment of digital reality by tackling issues such as integration experiences with the core, cloud deployment, connectivity, and access. Some have even begun developing new design patterns and nurturing nontraditional skill sets, heralding a new era of engagement. These early adopters recognize a shift in the augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) winds: The time to embrace digital reality is now.
  6. Blockchain to blockchains: Broad adoption and integration enter the realm of the possible
    Blockchain technologies are on a clear path toward broad adoption and are causing disruption across all major industries. Now is the time for energy-producing organizations to begin standardizing on the technology, talent, and platforms that will drive future blockchain initiatives and opportunities; among them, integrating and coordinating multiple blockchains within a single value chain.
  7. API imperative: From IT concern to business mandate
    Energy companies are embracing the strategic deployment of application programming interfaces (APIs) to help achieve the scale and agility they need to share customer and back-office data and events more rapidly, using API proxies to provide secure interactions between operations systems, remote devices, and cloud-based services.
  8. Exponential technology watch list: Innovation opportunities on the horizon
    Many of the potential opportunities—and challenges—emanating from AR/VR, blockchain, AI, cognitive technologies, robotics, and exponential technologies such as quantum computing are yet to be explored and defined. However, leading organizations are developing the disciplined innovation responses and capabilities they will need to sense, experiment with, incubate, and scale exponential opportunities.

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