Flare was engaged by a national E&P industry association to design and perform a benchmarking study on a subset of their producer members. The intention of the project was to understand the magnitude of resources and associated costs of IT and IM activities across a range of oil and gas companies.
The results would be used to:
- Recognise opportunities for immediate and ongoing cost savings and performance improvement
- Understand the impact of current investment and spending trends on organisational performance
- Identify opportunities to align spending with industry norms by conducting comparisons against peer groups and industry best practices
- Leverage research to support decision-making processes (e.g., build vs. buy decisions, M&A, consolidation)
- Recognise trends / emerging technologies that will enable organisations to achieve significant performance change.
- Maximise efficiency through continuous measurement of key performance indicators within the IT portfolio
- Identify best practices and opportunities to collaborate on IT initiatives
It was anticipated that the exercise would be repeated in subsequent years so that trends could be identified.
Working with a small steering committee comprised of IT executives from several of the participating organisations, Flare developed and administered a secure electronic survey instrument spanning several dimensions including staffing, software, technology, organisation and measurements.
The survey responses were anonymised, compiled, normalised for revenues, production volumes and number of employees, and categorised by company type. A summary report showing overall ranges and statistics was developed, presented to the steering committee and selected elements subsequently published to the general membership.
Customised company reports were then delivered to the participating organisations and reviewed in confidential briefing sessions where individual performance could be compared with the industry statistics and opportunities for improvement identified.
The initial benchmark provided a base data set that allowed participants to rigorously compare their performance against industry peers. In a number of cases the results were unexpected, with significant departures from the norm prompting subsequent root-cause analysis. Several opportunities for collaboration were suggested and taken forward to the association’s CIO forum.
The survey and benchmarking analysis were repeated in subsequent years with an expanded participant base and used to identify industry trends as well as relative improvement or decline in individual companies’ performance.