Imagine the oil and gas industry in Texas and you might picture a rugged roustabout in a remote oil field, connected to the home office mostly by their dusty pickup. The reality today, and certainly in the future, thanks to digital transformation, will be a much more connected oil and field worker.
That same roustabout might be checking on a smart sensor transmitting real time data and using an augmented reality headset to communicate with an engineer in another location to resolve a safety issue.
Spending on connected worker devices, estimated at $402 million in 2019, will grow to $4.3 billion dollar in the next 20 years, led by the oil and gas industry as the top connected worker device market.
The Houston area looks like the epicenter for connected worker device markets. Not only is the oil and gas industry predicted to be tops, at approximately $700 million dollars, but the No. 2 industry for connected worker devices by 2039 has strong ties to Houston, chemical production, with nearly $500 million.
According to Verdantix, other industries in the Top 10 for connected worker devices by 2039 also have ties to Houston, including No. 5 airlines, and No. 7 ports and airports.
Benefits of Connected Workers
Workers have become connected workers thanks to the rise of smart devices and the benefits have spread to companies, communities and even the planet.
According to Regus, the potential benefits of flexible working allowed by connected devices leads to:
- $254 billion value to local economies
- $441 billion value created globally
- 5 million metric tons of CO2 saved globally
The benefits of connected workers for companies, according to Accenture, include 8.5 percent increase in productivity with a wearable device and 8 percent reduction in operational costs.
Other benefits include:
- Improves safety of workers
- Reduces human error
- Prevents harmful incidents
- Enhances decision making
- More time efficient
- Allows for 24/7 monitoring of assets
Key Drivers of Digital Transformation
The move towards digital transformation across all industries was on the rise but has been accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic and its focus on remote work. According to a Prophet study, key drivers of digital transformation includes:
- 51% New market growth opportunities
- 46% Evolving customer behavior + preferences
- 41% Increased competitive pressure
- 38% New regulation/compliance standards
Mitigating EHS Risks Contribute to Oil and Gas Spending
It should come as no surprise that the oil and gas industry will lead the way on spending on connected worker devices as the industry faces a high level of environmental, health and safety risks that benefit from digital transformation. Vital sign monitoring, proximity warning and environmental monitoring are all areas where oil and gas can protect workers with connected devices.
“The mission statement for EHS is rapidly moving from a compliance focus to an innovation focus to add business value and support growth,” said Bill Pennington, Senior Analyst at Verdantix.
Connected worker technologies are part of the innovation agenda as they enhance worker safety and productivity. With the current global market worth $402 million and projected growth of 13% over the next 20 years we anticipate a surge of interest from tech entrepreneurs and investors.
Oil and gas, like all industries, can take advantage of connected worker technologies such as:
- Platforms: AI and data allows engineers to manage centralized platforms and remotely control manufacturing processes
- Interfaces: Technologies such as digital replicas enable sharing of accurate asset information such as physical footprints that would have otherwise been hard to access, such as remote oil platforms
- Smart Sensors: Sensors and other iOT devices that monitor assets in real time can prevent dangerous accidents
- Cloud and Edge Computing: Workers can communicate with each other and use shared data more efficiently
PS Lightwave, a leading fiber-based, bandwidth infrastructure provider headquartered in Houston, owns one of the nation’s largest private fiber-optic Metropolitan Area Networks, and can help your company make its connected worker digital transformation.
Contact us today to find out more about our facilities-based network that spans approximately 5,500 route miles, features over 1,600 on-net locations, and delivers managed Multi-Gigabit Ethernet business services, Internet Access, Dark Fiber, and Voice over IP.