The global energy sector is evolving. An increasing number of entities in the industry are looking to modernize their existing systems to drive innovation and keep up with their competitors. Cloud computing has proven to be a worthy investment for many of these organizations, which are just beginning to reap the rewards of adoption.
Let’s take a look at a few of the ways that the energy sector has and can continue to benefit from the use of cloud services:
1. It’s cost-effective.
Energy companies that operate out of more than one location understand how expensive it can become to maintain different IT solutions at each of their facilities. In the cloud, these same entities can consolidate their IT environments and reduce their spending on critical applications and tools. Should they ever need to scale their resources, cloud services make it far easier and affordable than would be possible in an on-premises setup.
Energy companies that adopt cloud computing can also save money on maintenance costs. Instead of managing their IT infrastructure in-house, they can outsource some of these responsibilities to their cloud vendors and minimize spending. Energy companies that save money by using the cloud can then pass on more savings to their customers.
2. It enhances visibility.
All entities in the energy sector—from oil and gas organizations to electricity companies—can use the cloud to enhance their visibility over their resources. Through the cloud, these entities can deploy sensor technology that immediately alerts them to any issues that their facilities may be facing. Those that manage electrical grids can more closely monitor the various pathways that take electricity to their customers. Should an outage occur due to extreme weather or other common causes, these companies can easily find the source of the problem and address it more quickly.
3. It streamlines asset management and maintenance.
In a similar vein, deploying the cloud gives those in the energy sector greater oversight over their assets. Cloud-based monitoring solutions enable organizations to keep a closer eye on their assets by giving them access to agile monitoring tools. Digitizing asset management provides energy companies with the ability to collect data about their assets and determine when maintenance is needed. Through the cloud, organizations can even receive alerts when asset parts are beginning to deteriorate so that they can address the issue quickly. With streamlined asset management at their fingertips, these companies can guarantee asset performance without wasting valuable manpower.
4. It enables integration across disparate channels.
Energy companies that work frequently with others in the industry will find that the cloud makes it easy to integrate key functions like workflows and communication across channels. From vendors to contractors, all parties involved can stay on the same page through the cloud. Unlike in a more traditional IT setup, the cloud allows different users to communicate and collaborate through a single online system. As these organizations move to the cloud, they must simply integrate their partners into their new cloud-based workflows. After that, all entities can continue working seamlessly together.
5. It makes companies greener.
In recent years, the green energy movement has become a major talking point in the United States. Individual citizens are no longer the only ones who are prioritizing sustainability in their daily lives. An increasing number of energy companies are also looking to go green within their own facilities.
Cloud adoption powers virtualization that enables these entities to boost the efficiency of their servers by allowing them to maximize their use of server space. In order to further reduce the environmental impact of their services, many cloud providers also leverage natural techniques to keep their data center equipment from overheating. This dramatically reduces the amount of energy expended to maintain servers.
Entities from across the energy sector have taken steps to boost their sustainability with the cloud. Take as an example Neste, an energy organization based in Finland, which used its cloud services to make its servers more efficient. Through its cloud provider, the company has also accessed the tools and services needed to develop a wider range of clean fuel offerings.
6. It simplifies monitoring.
For years, energy companies have struggled to build solutions that allow them to monitor their systems in an efficient manner. Traditional monitoring methods rely on entire teams of employees, which makes them both time-consuming in terms of manpower and riddled with the potential for human error. Cloud-based monitoring solutions are automated, thereby ensuring that energy companies obtain accurate information about their systems at a moment’s notice.
The cloud also gives end users access to this information on any device, so they won’t need to be tethered to their desks to monitor their energy systems. For instance, if an energy manager needs to assess the analytics from a facility halfway across the country, then he or she can do so without even visiting the building.
7. It provides companies with a competitive edge.
Since cloud adoption is still such a new concept in the energy sector, those that do deploy cloud services enjoy a distinct advantage over their competitors. The cloud, with all its advantages, sets adopters apart from the competition, providing them with greater flexibility to meet emerging client needs. Gone are the days when smaller energy companies struggled to keep up with their larger competitors. By migrating to the cloud, these entities can level the playing field and even work more quickly, which will give them an edge in the market.