Like Well-Conditioned Boots, Configurability Provides a Perfect Fit10/27/2021
Everyone needs a pair of well-fitted steel-toed boots to work in the oilfield. The thing is, when you first buy a new pair, it can take weeks to break them in. However, once they are, they become so comfortable that, eventually, you may choose to have them resoled to avoid going through the break-in process again.
If chosen well, oil and gas software can be like those comfortable, broken-in boots you’ve relied on for years. Alternatively, if the fit is not good, a software tool can become like a blister on your heel – a constant reminder that there is a problem that must be solved before you can move forward.
In the early years of production software development, major oil and gas companies financed the development of custom solutions built by internal teams. They wanted to track and report production from their assets in their own specific manner. For some, this was their secret sauce for optimizing production operations.
Vendor-based software that included both deep functionality and flexibility meant spending millions on customized solutions that were hard to upgrade. And off-the-shelf solutions lacked key features like in-depth reporting, analytics, and integration, and often required companies to modify their processes to use the software.
Assessing your company’s needs for production software may lead you to consider which solution is best. Options include an expensive, customized solution that is developed to meet your specific needs, an off-the-shelf (OTS) product, which may require you to change your practices or maintain spreadsheets, or a configurable solution you can adapt to meet your requirements from an existing, flexible model that's built to evolve.
Adaptability and Flexibility for a Changing World
A configurable software solution is an out-of-the box solution that allows you to individualize certain aspects yourself without the help of experienced software developers. Configurable software is flexible, scalable, and can be continually shaped to your company’s specific operational needs while providing the core industry-standard functions you can rely on.
Highly configurable software provides adaptable solutions to complex, real-world problems in the ever-changing IT environment. It is the product of following established industry best practices while creating reusable code that is easy to configure, build, test, deploy, and maintain.
Made-to-order software is custom production software that is yours alone and built strictly to your needs and specifications, without exception. The price of customization is often considerable, and it is not a one-time investment – it is a long-term commitment to building, supporting, and upgrading a tool that must frequently evolve to be useful and relevant to changing operations, assets, and regulatory environments.
Software customization is laborious, and by its very specialized nature, requires that you employ a team of internal IT professionals – and often expensive external consultants – to maintain your specific application. For most companies, this can be a costly journey on a long, lonely road in the IT wilderness.
Off-the-shelf software solutions often deliver frequent software releases/updates, which can have a ripple effect on your support teams, as the application may require you to adapt your processes to fit the software. These off-the-shelf solutions are designed from a one-size-must-fit-all perspective, which unlike a good pair of boots, typically fit no one well. And, perhaps most importantly, these OTS solutions are often supported by vendors who lack deep domain experience, so the challenge is on you, the client, to make this solution fit your company’s needs. Few oil and gas companies desire to be in the software design business, so this requirement adds a cost and resource burden to teams already made lean in recent years.
Built to Get More Comfortable Over Time
A configurable tool is built to be flexible and adaptable over time, much like your favorite pair of boots. As a result, configurable software is less costly to support during an upgrade. Generalist support personnel can manage this job more easily than with custom applications.
At P2 Energy Solutions, our production software is built using industry-forward practices and is designed for flexibility and adaptability, so you can make business decisions using a system that adapts to your needs and grows with your organization. We help you get the right tool that fits your entire production organization today and in the future. For more information about P2 production solutions, or for a demonstration, visit our website and contact us.
Clara Fuge, SVP, Production Solutions