Digital Oilfield of the Future (DOFF) practitioners have a major opportunity to learn from the defence sector. By looking at the evolution of Network Enabled Capability (NEC) and by adopting some of the approaches successfully used there, they could accelerate the implementation of DOFF, saving CAPEX and increasing benefits in the process. Additionally, NEC can offer DOFF practitioners guidance on what their initiatives might aspire to provide in the long term, giving proof that effective collaborative working can become the norm rather than the exception.

NEC is a transformation programme for the UK Armed Forces that enhances military effectiveness through improved, collaborative decision making. Similar programmes exist in other defence communities (e.g. Network Centric Operations in the USA). We have identified clear similarities between NEC and DOFF programmes: this paper explores these similarities and the extent to which lessons learned from the defence world can be applied to DOFF.

The findings will help companies who have DOFF programmes to overcome many of the implementation issues that they face today more quickly and at lower cost. They offer proven approaches from defence which have the potential to be applied to DOFF and also provide an insight into issues and challenges that DOFF programmes have yet to encounter.

Areas examined include: -

  • Evolution of the NEC concept, the benefits it has delivered, its maturity relative to DOFF and how this information can benefit DOFF initiatives.

  • Challenges encountered during the roll out of NEC, the extent that these are being repeated in DOFF and specific lessons that can be applied.

  • The importance of adapting the organizational models within a business to progress through NEC / DOFF stages.

  • How people were seen to be both resistant to NEC and its champions, along with an explanation of how they were successfully encouraged to become the latter.

  • How to quantify and subsequently enhance the benefits of potential DOFF solutions prior to running pilots.

  • The necessity of establishing a long term vision for NEC / DOFF supported throughout the organization and how to achieve this challenging task.

  • How procurement strategies have evolved within defence and how these new strategies benefit the customer.

The paper concludes with a summary of lessons learned that can be applied in DOFF programmes.

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