“Oil and gas organizations have tons of data and we’re ready to make it our game-changer.” That’s what we heard from attendees at the 2019 International SAP Conference for Oil and Gas in Milan earlier this month. Through the conference we heard many perspectives—with three key themes emerging:

  • Operate in real time for competitive advantage. Today’s intelligent platforms, such as SAP S/4HANA, are real-time, flexible and scalable. This platform transformation is notable because as the energy transition shifts toward profitable yet cleaner fuels and new energies, platform agility has become a mission-critical goal within the industry.

    But platform agility is just the beginning. An intelligent platform enables the quicker adoption of new technologies. These can include artificial intelligence, blockchain, predictive analytics and connected assets through IoT sensors.

    The technology alone is not the endgame—but the acquisition, categorization and utilization of the data from each of those advanced technologies is the pivot point on which the oil and gas industry is turning.

    Today’s game-changer is the real-time data that is collected from new technologies. The ability to have an integrated view across the entire oil and gas value chain—from well to market—will transform the seamless coordination of trading, financial and operational data. Faster, better decisions will be made to optimize end-to-end processes. Once “reactive” companies will be transformed into insights-driven oil and gas enterprises.

  • Journey to the cloud to reap operational benefits. During the conference it became clear that SAP S/4HANA Cloud—a public cloud solution—will be a disruptor into both the industry and the SAP services sector. Cloud-based solutions have a lower total cost of ownership and offer new and exciting value propositions to the industry. Also, the frequent enhancements made to the cloud solutions provide faster innovation, without requiring lengthy implementations and updates.

    Enterprises reap the benefits of improved safety, optimized productivity and better customer engagement. This could be achieved through asset tracking, mobile applications and analytics—all made possible via the cloud solution delivering insights into performance and productivity.

    Last year, we announced our collaboration with SAP to co-develop SAP S/4HANA Cloud for upstream oil and gas, a cloud-based solution to digitally transform oil and gas upstream operations. The first proof points of adoption are already generating valuable learnings and feedback.

  • Collaborate, share lessons learned and evolve together. This is no longer a “compete-everywhere” industry as the digital revolution has summarily eaten away old processes, business models and mindsets.

    Instead, at the conference we saw an industry coalescing around topics that, at large, are perceived as non-differentiating. For example, the above cloud-based solution for upstream oil and gas is being developed with input from a consortium of industry leaders focused on defining industry standards for enterprise resource planning processes. We see that this willingness of the industry to share transformation paths with their peers, including new learnings and overcoming barriers, will result in new value propositions for all.

The key to continued industry relevance is to keep collaborating and embrace new solutions that offer industry-defined processes to accelerate the journey to the Intelligent Enterprise.

Faster innovation, less risk.




Andrew Partington, Accenture


Jan van den Bremen

Senior Managing Director – Technology, Intelligent Platform Services, Europe Lead

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