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June 16, 2014
Digital workforce: Can oil and gas companies compete on talent?
By: Colin Sloman

Imagine an oil well that acts like a patient calling a doctor, initiating and even participating in a conversation with an expert regarding an abnormally high temperature or an unusual vibration it is experiencing. Imagine digital technologies helping to quickly pull together a global team of experts for a discussion to solve the problem in real time. If these are the oil wells of the future, how would the future workforce look like?

As work becomes increasingly virtualized and analytics-based, the global talent map is quickly losing its shape and borders. The oil and gas industry, known for being environmentally unfriendly, hazardous and prone to cyclical layoffs, faces the challenge of transforming itself into digital companies that compete on talent. Rapidly advancing digital technologies—wearable, as well as remote, technologies such as smart glasses, sensors, drones, robots, and unmanned marine vehicles—are doing away with the need for people to physically monitor equipment.

This convergence of data, machines and people is enabling a new era of predictive maintenance, improved safety, and smarter decision making by people on the edges of the organization. To adapt to this scenario, oil and gas companies need to radically change work practices and experiences as well as the nature of the workforce, requiring people to fit increasingly knowledge-intensive roles. The new workforce will be digitally literate—they should have analytic capabilities, a seamless ability to use newer tools and data in real time, and a global, collaborative mindset. Can the oil and gas companies of the future adopt an entirely new approach to talent management to prepare for a digital workforce? Read More about the several ways companies are trying to tackle this challenge.