For the oil and gas industry, staying ahead of the competition involves far more than successful well completions.
The ongoing cost of doing business and finding ways to edge out the competition can make all the difference in your company’s success. Even small improvements can make a significant impact on a company’s bottom line and help keep investors happy.
Read on to find out how I.T. can make a difference for your company this year.
1. Out of Office Experiences
Work stops for no one—even when they are located out in the field or in remote facilities. Too often, valuable work hours are lost waiting for files to be uploaded or commuting into a central office for meetings.
A small delay by one person can quickly cascade into more lost time as others are forced to wait. Fortunately, there are great ways to keep this sort of productive loss to a minimum.
Video conferences can allow workers to participate in team meetings across the miles, without the time and cost of travel.
Even for employees working in the main office, a video conference can allow them to share thoughts with their counterparts elsewhere in the building or bring together different teams without requiring a conference room large enough to accommodate everyone.
Managers can maintain a more personal connection with their staffs by recording video question and answer sessions or announcements. That way employees with different work hours can watch the presentations when their schedules permit.
In the past, video conferences were typically formal affairs requiring complicated setup prior to streaming. Now, improved technologies can make it easy for employees to have secure video conferences whenever needed.
This can enable smaller company teams to regularly meet remotely, even for routine gatherings. For example, video conferences over a weekly lunch can provide casual but quality teambuilding moments.
One of the biggest obstacles for remote workers can be gaining internet access. Out in an oilfield or even within processing facilities, reliable internet can be a problem.
If your workers are having difficulty connecting or staying connected, you may want to consider setting up mobile hotspots.
These can enable your valuable employees to have Wi-Fi wherever they go. Then they can focus their time on working rather getting and staying connected.
If there are locations where employees regularly work on an intermittent basis, consider adding routers to provide secure Wi-Fi within those facilities. This can help workers stay productive and connected while eliminating the hassle of manually connecting laptops to docking stations.
Facility-wide Wi-Fi can allow employees to quickly access key company information on the cloud, wherever they’re working. For example, workers could refer to facility and equipment specifications on site while troubleshooting system issues or when conducting routine safety checks.
2. Ahead in the Cloud
Cloud uploads could be your company’s new best friend.
By setting up remote workers with automatic uploads to the cloud, your staff can focus on other work, instead of spending time manually transferring files. Meanwhile, employees in other locations can access the files right away, rather than waiting until the next day or the end of a site visit.
Rather than loading extensive amounts of reference materials on their laptops or tablets, employees can travel with confidence, knowing that they will be able to access whatever they need on the cloud.
As situations arise in the field or in meetings, employees will be able to share information and locate important files, wherever they are.
A managed service provider specializing in backup and mobile device management services can help you set up employee phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops to automatically upload selected types of documents to the cloud.
In addition to saving valuable employee time, automatic cloud uploads eliminate the need for employees to remember to upload files at the end of the day. There will be no more fear of important project records being missed when employees are responsible for manually updating and transferring files. Meanwhile, the company gains the security of cloud backups.
That way lost or stolen smartphones and laptops won’t mean having to recreate hours or days of valuable work product.
3. Less Can Be More
Laptops have become the standard for employees who need to work from home or remote locations. It could be time to rethink this.
Often today’s smartphones or tablets can provide all the functionality many employees need away from the office.
Instead of issuing those workers a phone and a laptop to carry into the field, the right smartphone or tablet might be able to provide whatever they need.
This can reduce company costs while saving employees from being responsible for multiple electronic items whenever they leave the office.
Frankly, keeping up with the changing models of smartphones and tablets can be demanding enough on company resources.
Syncing these devices up with the cloud and with computers in the office can keep employees provided with current technologies without the need for constant laptop upgrades. Instead, companies can often stick with desktop systems that provide greater storage and computing capacities but don’t need to be replaced as often as laptops.
Streamlining hardware requirements can reduce the number of electronic items companies need to purchase and track. It can also make it easier for employees to move from one location to another without significant downtime while they learn new systems.
Take the time to look into how each of your teams and employees uses computer devices to determine what workstation options would work best in each area of your company and identify other areas where your company can streamline hardware.
4. Security Blankets
There is no denying the increasing risk presented by security breaches.
Once upon a time, contracts and vital operational files were secured in file rooms under lock and key. Now the convenience and necessity of having information on computers makes hacking a greater threat than ever. In addition, hackers have become increasingly aggressive and sophisticated.
Recently, even pipelines and power plants have become the targets of unscrupulous agents. This is why maintaining security must be a top item on every company’s to-do list.
In the past, companies relied on in-house I.T. experts to maintain their network servers and stay abreast of the latest security threats. Then, subscriptions to virus-blocking software systems became the standard for protecting companies and their software systems.
Today the threats have become increasingly complex and a handful of in-house I.T. managers can no longer keep up with the changing demands. That can result in companies playing catch-up with security threats and patching breaches, rather than being able to proactively take steps to block attacks.
The faster pace of technological changes presents another challenge to keeping systems safe and employees properly supported. A full-service managed I.T. provider like JMARK can manage network and storage security while providing the help desk assistance employees require.
This eliminates the need for companies to maintain the large in-house I.T. staff that would be necessary to handle a system-wide emergency. JMARK has a full team of I.T. experts on call, ready to leap into action whenever they’re needed.
Saving costs and streamlining work for your employees might seem like a relatively small step but it can make a significant difference in your bottom line. Oil and gas companies have many outside factors to deal with each day like pricing fluctuations and government regulations.
Having a proactive I.T. plan is one way to save costs and improve productivity now, while preparing your company to face future challenges. Contact JMARK today to discuss how we can help to optimize your company’s I.T. systems. Call 844-44-JMARK or email [email protected].