IBM, AWS partner to support energy companies in solving global data silo challenges

Large global energy companies have a serious technology problem – with different compliance and data residency regulations around the world, they have business data that needs to be maintained in different ways in multiple locations.

This results in critical business data being stored in separate silos, making it much more difficult to find needed data from multiple repositories in different countries around the world.

And if these energy companies hope to find ways to stay competitive and create and deliver sustainable energy alternatives in the future, they need to be able to pull together all of their disparate data to drive these strategies forward.

That’s the goal of a new partnership between IBM and Amazon Web Services (AWS) that brings together IBM’s Open Data for Industries software platform and the AWS cloud to help energy companies find ways to solve these frustrating problems.

Manish Chawla from IBM

“Operational data is key to increasing efficiency and generating insights that can accelerate the energy transition, but so much energy data is locked by proprietary data formats or constrained by data residency challenges,” said Manish Chawla, IBM’s global managing director for Energy, Resources and Manufacturing said EnterpriseAI. “For example, while AWS has a large presence in the energy space, several oil producing countries require companies to store their data within their respective country’s borders, or others prefer these massive data sets that are stored in their data centers to allow for latency during analysis to reduce.”

These requirements prevent the disparate data from being used to better serve the companies, Chawla said. “Our collaboration with AWS is focused on addressing these challenges. By combining the advantages of IBM Open Data for Industries … with the AWS cloud infrastructure, energy companies can now use cloud data tools in their private data centers or in the AWS cloud. “

A major, anticipated benefit is the labor savings for data scientists tasked with evaluating and using a company’s data, he said. “Eighty percent of a data scientist’s valuable time is spent finding, cleaning, and organizing data easily, leaving only 20 percent for analysis. This data can provide valuable insights to help energy companies increase efficiency and reduce costs and emissions in today’s operations. This in turn should help to free up more time and resources to invest in discoveries and innovations in order to accelerate the energy transition. “

By bringing all this data together and expanding the data tools available for it, it will also help energy companies add non-petroleum assets like wind and solar to their portfolios as they continue to experience changes in the energy space. said Chawla.

“The energy sector is going through massive changes as companies are under pressure to cut emissions while meeting the growing demand for affordable energy,” he said. “We have not yet reached a point of price parity or storage capacity to fully rely on renewable energies and to meet this demand cost-effectively. Our collaboration with AWS is helping to reduce the emissions generated to meet today’s energy needs and freeing up more time, resources and capital to invest in research to promote the energy transition. “

The new IBM AWS partnership was recently announced at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) 2021, one of the world’s largest oil, gas and energy events.

IBM’s Open Data for Industries software – the actual full name of the product is IBM Open Data for Industries for IBM Cloud Pak for Data – is an open source application that meets the requirements of the Open Subsurface Data Universe Forum (OSDU) of the Open Group corresponds. a manufacturer-neutral environment for the development of open standards in the energy industry. IBM Open Data for Industries integrates with IBM Cloud Pak for Data and is based on the OpenShift Kubernetes platform and open architecture from Red Hat.

By combining IBM applications and the AWS cloud, energy company customers can run OSDU Data Platform applications in the AWS cloud or on-premises while meeting data residency requirements.

Chawla said the partnership between IBM and AWS could expand to other industries in the future to provide similar services in the future. “Currently, it is directly applied to upstream operations for the energy sector, but as this industry is rapidly changing, these open technologies need to work across the value chain: from upstream to downstream to transmission. and distribution [in the] the world of utilities. “

Several IT analysts told EnterpriseAI that the collaboration between IBM and AWS to solve these problems is a positive step for the energy industry.

Shelly DeMotte Kramer, analyst

“This partnership … is an example of yet another smart strategic alliance aimed at enabling faster digital transformation – this time with an emphasis on the oil and gas industry – that is pretty much lagging behind on this front,” said Shelly Demotte Kramer, Principal Analyst and Co-Founder of Futurum Research. “Customers not only have to accelerate, simplify and secure their digital transformation, but also concentrate on solutions that minimize costs and complexity.”

Kramer called the open source application, IBM Open Data for Industries, “another benefit we can point to that comes from IBM’s $ 34 billion acquisition of Red Hat in 2019 – use data, streamline run the business and take advantage of all the benefits associated with this partnership. “

Charles King, analyst

Another analyst, Charles King, director of Pund-IT, agreed.

“Energy companies are by their nature global organizations that often face a myriad of regulations and operational hurdles in their locations,” said King. “Oil and gas exploration and production processes are challenging enough without having to deal with operating multiple isolated IT infrastructures and solutions.”

By leveraging the combined products and services of IBM and AWS, energy company customers receive write-once-and-run-where functionality that enables companies to easily deploy and deliver applications and data on multiple public cloud platforms and locations “King said of IBM’s offering and the breadth of AWS ‘global data center infrastructure make them natural partners for solutions like this.”

Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, told EnterpriseAI that “This kind of data freedom should be a guiding star for many other industries by combining the benefits of the cloud, open data standards and data integration capabilities.”

This will be especially helpful as the Internet of Things trend continues to build and organizations need to find the best ways to share data from systems and devices across an industry’s legacy infrastructure, Gardner said. “That should be a priority,” he said. “The need to reduce greenhouse gases while keeping energy affordable is a given, in order to release as much data as possible to drive improvements. This is a great use case to demonstrate how the power and utility of pervasive data analysis can help solve difficult problems such as the transition of world energy to affordable sustainability. “

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