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How to Choose The Right Oil & Gas Software for Your Company

Senior leaders at your business may understand the importance of investing in quality oil and gas software, but they might not be sure which one to choose. It’s a costly business decision that you shouldn’t take lightly — one that could impact your company for years to come. So, before you commit to one software product or process, we suggest you consider the following:

  • The company culture
  • Your short- and long-term goals
  • The company’s data and the way it’s structured

In this article, we’ll walk you through our four-step evaluation process with the goal of providing greater insight into key elements you should consider when choosing software.

1. Identify and Define Your Business Culture

When it comes to evaluating software, you should remember the following principle:

“There is no one-size-fits-all solution.”

Choosing the right software requires that you first understand how your business works at a people and operational level. In other words, you must understand the essence of your company culture. You must foresee how your organization will react or adopt the new technology and consider certain factors as part of the planning phase.

Key things to consider include:

  • Knowing the current size and pace of growth of your company
  • Recognizing full-time and part-time users of the software
  • Having clear plans regarding the future of the company
  • Understanding the fundamental complications and complexities of your business
  • Being aware of all other company projects, risks, and possible disruptions to business continuity
  • Obtaining clear leadership buy-in

Changing technology and/ or processes can be taxing on your workforce, which makes identifying and defining your company culture even more critical. This sets the tone for how the organization will be managed with the new changes and is an opportunity to instill new habits and improve the culture as well.

When people understand the business value of software, it makes your change management and internal training processes more successful.

2. Determine Your Business Needs

Several factors, ranging from internal company shifts to external market fluctuations could have influenced the need for a technology change within your organization. Before deciding to move forward with a plan, you must identify what is driving those decisions by conducting a “current state” business process analysis where you can easily identify the pain areas.

You must then engage in business analysis that accounts for present-day realities and big picture thinking. That leads to identifying why you need sophisticated software before you can determine what sort of software that should be.

Define the Scope

Every software has its pros and cons, so you need to find the one that fits your specific needs and purposes. Thus, your senior leaders should ask three questions:

  1. What are your requirements for this software?
  2. Do you have unique scenarios that the software can address?
  3. What are you trying to solve by purchasing software?

Too many businesses seek out the fanciest enterprise solution just because “everyone else uses it.” Thankfully, there is now more methodology behind buying software with real qualitative and quantitative reasons.

What are Your Long-Term Goals?

Predicting the future is a notoriously fickle task, but you shouldn’t only buy a software solution that addresses your immediate concerns. You can’t afford to purchase software every time your company makes a new leap in operational capacity and business direction. Thus, you need to be intentional in how you account for the future.

  • Calculate the total footprint and cost of adding this software to your current systems.
  • Look beyond immediate implementation into how people will use it after everyone is comfortable.
  • Examine the 3, 5, and 10-year costs of using, improving, and upgrading the software.

Exceptional software will be scalable no matter how your organization changes in the future, so part of your software assessment process should be accounting for certain future scenarios and seeing if the software measures up.

3. Determine Your Data Needs

The oil and gas industry of the 21st century is awash in data. We have technology that can measure and analyze more information than ever. Yes, each data point may have its own critical business function, but you need tools to decipher why it’s important. Additionally, you can use software and systems to reduce manual processes.

However, not all data is truly created equal or useful for driving company operations. Thus, you should ask three questions about the information you’re generating:

  1. What data do you need?
  2. How do you want the data to work for you?
  3. What are your goals for the data?

For example, your answers to those question could sound something like:

  • Properly houses the data you need in a format that makes sense for your business
  • Seamlessly transform as it moves through different stages of the business lifecycle and reporting.
  • Create standard naming conventions and master data management.

Ultimately, you need to find software that conducts superior analysis to your current in-house efforts. Data can help improve operations internally, including tracking, automation, and consistency while also assisting with external activities such as calculation, analysis, reporting, and auditing.

When you ensure the software can handle the complexity of your data sets so external stakeholders can audit the information, you can make better decisions and have peace of mind.

4. Assess the Software’s Capabilities

Once you have determined what you want the software to do for your specific business needs, it’s time to learn what the software actually can do. You also need to identify what fits into your current and future business expectations. We recommend paying close attention to the following considerations:

  • What are your essential business requirements?
  • How is the software hosted?
  • What are you willing to spend upfront?
  • What is the cost in relation to your business requirements?
  • Are there any regional or geographical considerations in play?

Ensure that you have a clear understanding by using these questions as a guide. to all of those questions if you are to effectively gauge whether or not the oil and gas software is right for you.

How Can My Business Avoid Problems with New Oil and Gas Software?

While no one software will do everything, you still need to find the one that’s right for your company. Even then, you need to prepare for problems and concerns that might arise, both before and after you make a purchase.

Before the Purchase

We recommend completing a thorough gap analysis that addresses the following:

  • Operational needs
  • Business needs
  • System needs
  • Scalability

As we said earlier, one size doesn’t fit all, so keep an open mind by paying attention to what you need now and into the future to avoid surprises.

After the Purchase

In our experience, oil and gas companies have negative experiences with a software purchase for one distinct reason: they forced it to match their processes.

Remember that business processes run your company, not technology. You must ensure the system meets your business processes and work on ways to improve or make your business processes more efficient by leveraging the technology. You should also assess whether the tech can scale as your business models change.

It also a good idea to work directly with the software vendor as they are invested in making sure you maximize the functionality of the software. Additionally, many oil and gas software companies have active online user groups where you can talk to other users, increase your education, and raise issues about the product.

Effective Oil and Gas Software Must Address Your Company’s Needs

Partner with EAG Inc., to facilitate your software evaluation process. We deliver on time, on budget software evaluations and recommendations that help set oil and gas organizations up with a new standard of operational excellence.