More than ever, business leaders are expected to deliver increased value at alower cost. Processes are increasingly interconnected and often highly complex. Flexibility and responsiveness are key elements in this dynamic and challengingeconomic environment to improve and optimize operational processes across thebusiness. There is a myriad of data out there today, all of which clearly couldimprove both business and operational performance if leveraged in the rightway, but the traditional focus of Oil & Gas firms has led to a siloed andsegmented business environment. There is also a looming skills shortage waitingin the wings, with pending retirements. Combined with fewer new engineersentering the business, there will be a shortage of skilled engineers to servefuture business needs.

The ability to capture experience and transfer knowledge from one person to thenext and bridge the gaps between different parts of the organization so dataand employee knowledge can be applied independently of organizationalfunctions, disciplines and geography, is critical to addressing thesechallenges. Decision makers need the right data at the right time and in theright context. Advances in connectivity, high-performance computing andservices capabilities make the use of software an extraordinary choice forinformation sharing between disconnected employees and operations. Real-timecommunication makes collaborative decision-making, learning and knowledgetransfer possible. This paper will demonstrate how unlocking information todeliver solutions to help alter business models can maximize operationalefficiency and drive business success.

Smarter Operations - An Overview

Today, there are nearly a billion transistors for every human on the planet andan estimated 30 billion RFID tags in total. They allow us to measure, monitorand manage nearly every physical system that supports life on this planet, fromroads to pharmaceuticals to waterways to livestock. They are allowing us to" instrument" our world, and extract unprecedented information about the way ourworld works, and how to make it work better. They are enabling a smarterplanet.

The Oil & Gas industry is inundated with data generated by all means ofdevices, applications and events. Information that was previously generated bypeople will increasingly be machine-generated, flowing from sensors, devicesand applications. As the degree of instrumentation increases, so does thevolume of data generated. This is the key issue in the Oil & Gas industry. In order to make sense of data, analyze and act on it, the convergence oftechnology across the enterprise, not just traditional back-office orfront-office systems, becomes a critical business enabler.

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