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How does social collaboration transform the energy industry?

New tools are replacing the old ways of working in oil and gas.


The energy industry relies on continuous innovation, enhancing the value of the knowledge and skills inherent in its workforce. Oil and gas companies have to work collaboratively with joint venture partners to share expertise and risk. This article by Accenture published in Manufacturing and Resources Global Outlook 2014-2018 argues that social collaboration tools are increasingly relevant to the oil and gas industry as they provide capabilities to transform old ways of working. If oil and gas companies do not embrace this transformation to gain competitive advantage, they stand to miss the opportunity to address choke points innate to their operating models.

Read the article online.

Key Findings

For tools such as Yammer and Office 365, Accenture has found five top-use cases among oil and gas companies:

  • Distributing information and knowledge better across geographies, business units and outside traditional hierarchies enable better decisions.

  • Using communities of interest to share problems and gain solutions improves upon previous best working standards.

  • Planning, managing and coordinating a multi-party workforce by granting wide access to knowledge repositories and workspaces.

  • Managing information overload through bite-sized news feeds, following individuals/groups, tagging and recommendations for all, and deep-diving for key information.

  • Driving innovation by using social tools to support idea generation, improve the initial concept and accelerate speed to market.


The barriers of hierarchy, organization and geography conspire to lock knowledge and innovation in silos. Oil and gas companies are breaking these barriers, creating more interactive, community- and discussion-based organizations. By supporting specific business processes, collaboration tools are providing the digital organization with real use cases to measure direct benefits.

For instance, the value of a knowledge-sharing community around health, safety, security and environment can be measured in the reduction in the number of days lost to accidents, or repositories of lessons learnt that can reduce downtime. Organizations that are carrying out such changes are likely to become more productive and innovative, and make better decisions.