JD Ross: The transformation of the energy market with IoT

Part of Opus Talent Solutions, JD Ross energy recruits in the energy and renewables market. This blog sees them exploring the ways in which the Internet of Things might be of value to the energy market in transforming business performance. 

The Internet of Things (IoT) has become an increasingly popular topic of discussion, both within the workplace and outside. It is a concept that can transform not only the way we live but how we work and how businesses perform. In recent years, the internet of things (IoT) has emerged as a powerful system capable of enhancing business performance by improving operational activities. In our evermore connected world, IoT has progressed to be involved in most of our lives and is increasingly used within our homes and in public spaces. JD Ross Energy explores how IoT is transforming the energy market and how one particular oil major is utilising the benefits of IoT to enhance business performance.

IoT and the Energy Market

Analysts predict the IoT energy market to surge, with some forecasting an increase in the value, reaching $22 billion by 2020. The increase within energy and utilities is related to the rise of new initiatives driven by IoT solutions. For example, IoT systems can detect and reduce the failure of energy systems. As these products develop further, considerable amounts of money can be saved within the energy market.

Energy businesses are facing more challenges as global energy consumption continues to rise. By implementing IoT solutions, the energy market can harness a continuous flow of data to make more informed and calculated decisions. Gathering more insightful data allows businesses to enhance their delivery of services, effectively manage infrastructure and continue to meet the requirements of their customers. IoT can also support businesses in detecting and responding to potential security threats, faults or damages to infrastructure and maintain a clear view of consumer energy trends.

The Challenge for businesses

It is clear IoT will create multiple opportunities and enable connections to take place, but with the opportunities come certain challenges. Security is a big concern that will inevitably become a focus as billions of devices connect to one another. This is something that many businesses need to consider with the rise of IoT and the potential rise of security threats.

Other concerns relate to overall privacy and data sharing, which is already a constant point of discussion in today’s workplace. This will be escalated further with the billions of devices connecting worldwide. Businesses will also have to consider the sheer amount of data that these devices will produce and how they plan to store, monitor and efficiently analyse vast amounts of data.

Big Oil and the Internet of Things

ExxonMobil recently announced that it will adapt its business to cloud technology to ensure it continues to stay on track with the rapidly progressing shale market in America. Exxon confirmed the new partnership with Microsoft, explaining that it will use a range of Microsoft technologies including the Azure cloud platform, machine learning and the internet of things to gather real-time field data. ExxonMobil believes the systems will enable them to make quicker drilling decisions, improve personnel deployments and monitor any faults as well as overall emission levels.

The partnership will focus extensively within the Permian Basin, which forms the focus for the shale boom. Staale Gjervik, an executive at Exxon explains that digital technologies are well suited for the shale industry which is progressing quickly, data-rich and technically challenging. Gjervik believes the systems will strengthen their operations and enable Exxon to generate more value, with expectations of generating billions of dollars in value over the next few years, and a significant boost in its oil production.

The partnership is a considerable win for Microsoft and its Azure platform, which competes with the likes of Amazon Web Service and other notable cloud systems. Microsoft has ramped up its efforts on its cloud business, with a significant rise in revenue over the last year.

Exxon was relatively late to the shale oil boom and whilst US oil production has increased dramatically, the oil major struggled to maintain pace with this rate of growth. However, Exxon has invested heavily in purchasing shale assets and it does look like these investments are starting to pay off.

Alysa Taylor, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of business applications and industry believes that ExxonMobil is now leading the industry, delivering their goals and making informed, data-driven decisions that are improving efficiency, creating a safer working environment and boosting profits for the company.

IoT and the future

The internet of things has had a considerable impact on our lives, yet we are only just starting to recognise how IoT can really influence and impact individuals and businesses. Whilst we may be in an early stage of becoming an increasingly connected world, businesses should utilise and take advantage of these new technological opportunities now while they can. As technology progresses and becomes smarter through machine learning and artificial intelligence, IoT is likely to transform and disrupt the energy market and other industries in the years to come.

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