Oil and gas executives are beginning to recognize the promise — and challenge — of adopting a digital strategy.
A recent EY survey of global oil and gas executives showed the impact of digital technology was the issue that would be “most prominent” in boardroom thinking over the near term.
Nearly two-thirds of our survey respondents, 60%, believe looming advances in technology will require their companies to retrain and redeploy existing employees; 53% believe it will create opportunities and necessitate hiring new talent.
While those numbers are encouraging on the surface, they provide insight into how executives still view the digital revolution — as something “for the future.” But digital technology is here now, with benefits too valuable to ignore, and smart companies are already utilizing it to great advantage.
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The first step
Digital labor can be deployed quickly and easily, and its return on investment can be realized in as little as eight weeks. Digital labor works in any function where you currently have staff who are manually:
- Accessing and gathering data from several different applications to complete their activities
- Moving data from one system to another
- Checking the consistency of data between multiple systems
- Updating the same information in multiple systems
- Waiting for alerts/events to initiate their activities
- Remediating data across several accounts
In short, digital labor is software that executes repetitive processes in an audited, controlled manner.
It works with your company’s core systems and existing applications, and handles transaction processing, data manipulation, communication and response triggering.
Value from the start
The benefits of implementing digital labor are real and immediate.
Our studies show in information technology services, 30% of staff time is spent on low-level, repetitive tasks. As much as 20% of the typical company’s costs are related to supply chain problems caused by transactional issues. In human resources, digital technology can deliver an 80% reduction in payroll processing costs. In finance and accounting, it can deliver a 60% reduction in the cost to process an invoice.
Digital labor can be utilized across all those functions and more, and in many cases, departments can share the same bot to perform different tasks at different times. The bot that pulls fixed asset data for the tax department could be used the rest of the month by human resources for the onboarding communication process or for uploading job openings to a recruiting system or by finance to streamline accounts payable.
Supporting the cultural shift
Perhaps most importantly, digital labor allows companies to begin making moves toward a broader, more aspirational transformation — but on a small scale is easy to implement and manage and delivers quick wins.
Digital is the buzzword of the day, but many companies recognize it is a complex strategy that requires time and investment.
Once you get started with digital labor, leaders and employees alike become more eager to invest time and effort in a broader digital transformational agenda.
How EY can help
EY is a multidisciplinary global network of firms that can support the transactional approach to deploying digital labor in one functional area for one process to gain traction and realize immediate value. Alternatively we can support an end-to-end transformational agenda focused on a new operating model, an optimized organizational construct, process redesign, technology enablement, business engagement and adoption, risk management and tax benefit realization.
We are a first mover in digital labor, as well as the broader digital agenda, and as such, we have brought all of our services together to help our clients navigate this journey to an accretive and successful conclusion.