Leveraging cloud services for greater profits in oil and gas
The future of the oil and gas industry is in the cloud. For a business in which staff can be found in the field or the office, and IT services and data are needed everywhere business is conducted, the cloud is an ideal solution.
Cloud technologies have matured, and cloud vendors deliver security that is just as good, if not better, than the security in a fire-walled physical network. Fast data delivery via fibre to the premises (FTTP) Internet provides the framework to take advantage of all the cloud has to offer.
What exactly is the cloud? The cloud refers to any number of hosted storage and software services. There are three main categories of cloud services: Public Cloud, Private Cloud, and Hybrid Cloud.
Public Cloud services are accessed by various individuals and small businesses through a web interface. Examples of Public Cloud options are Dropbox, Salesforce or Google Maps. With these services, multiple users can share the resources of a single server.
Private Cloud services are hosted in a data centre, protected by a firewall and the service is accessed by one business entity. The business does not share any aspect of the Private Cloud with outside users.
The Hybrid Cloud combines public and private cloud solutions so that businesses can take advantage of the efficiency of the cloud while protecting valuable data behind a dedicated firewall. The Hybrid Cloud is a popular option for the oil and gas industry where data is extremely valuable.
Benefits of the cloud
With cloud services, your data is always accessible and it is always up-to-date. Field workers can upload daily inspection data that can be processed in real time. Mobile workers can access data in the cloud from wherever they are working which means they never have to store sensitive data on their own devices.
The oil and gas industry has to make data available to numerous regulatory agencies. In Alberta, these agencies include Alberta Energy, the Alberta Energy Regulator, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, and the Alberta Utilities Commission. With the cloud this data can be made readily available, speeding up audit and reporting processes.
Scalability is arguably the most compelling benefit of cloud services. Your data and software package grows as you need it without investment in costly infrastructure. Some contracts even offer temporary scaling in which you can scale up to provide multiple team members access to data-heavy files for a big project and scale back down when the project is complete.
The cloud will reduce IT support costs in the Oil & Gas sector. Instead of flying to remote locations, IT specialists can access the systems via the cloud. This not only saves the expense of travel, it also means that IT problems can be solved more quickly, reducing costly downtime in the field.
Data security in the cloud
There are two threats that concern most businesses: data loss and data breach. The cloud can offer protection on both fronts.
The threat of data loss is decreased because your data backup can be automated, and will be saved to a dedicated system. Cloud vendors are serious about security, and their facilities are better protected than anything any single IT department has the resources for. Cloud vendors have multiple redundancies in place with a wide distribution of state-of-the-art, shock-resistant buildings with power and internet backups.
Many cloud security tools not only protect your data from breaches with sophisticated encryption, they actively protect your servers from distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks and provide you with 24-hour support from highly specialized data security professionals.
In a world where data has become its own currency, the only way to stay competitive is to make sure your data is always accessible, up-to-date, and most importantly, secure. Combine the cloud with an FTTP network, and you've got all you need to compete.
For more information on our fibre connectivity solutions, contact your Axia salesperson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-866-773-3348.