Mobile technology is transforming our society and culture, and the oil and gas industry is very much a part of the mobile app boom. Mobile users now number in the billions. Roughly 84% of the world’s population are using mobile technology, and this shift in mobile tech is playing out in the oil and gas marketplace.
The True Impact of Apps
According to a survey by Oil & Gas IQ, well over $8 billion was spent on Oil & Gas industry mobile apps in the last few years. The same survey also highlighted that mobile technology was No. 2 on the list of IT priorities of Oil & Gas CIOs, and 55% felt that such solutions would greatly enhance their operations.
What Do These Apps Do?
So, where is this $8 billion in mobile apps going?
Mobile device management, workflow management, and asset management solutions seem to be the top areas of mobile technology investments so far. However, this could soon be outpaced by other growing needs.
Mobile tech is already being employed to help meet increased regulatory and monitoring requirements and create data archives, which then builds and stores long-term histories of compliance and environmental protection efforts. Field data capture by digital mobile devices is being used to help workers in the field log progress of a pipeline inspection, which can then be viewed in real time by project managers. New workflows are developing around mobile apps, and with this comes cost savings as distance, time, and effort duplication are reduced or eliminated.
Anyone who’s worked in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico or out in the wilds building a pipeline will tell you mobile technology cannot be fully relied upon. Most of the users being targeted by mobile apps for the oil and gas industry operate in some remote offline locations and have unpredictable daily routines, making the right training programs/incentives and robust, flexible technology that works well offline key elements in a successful implementation.
It’s highly likely the mobile industry will continue to grow and develop at a vigorous pace in the oil and gas industry.