Developing a Technical Computing Framework

A major oil and gas company retained Analysis Group to assist in understanding and planning for the future of technical computing. The company was interested in learning more about where technical computing could radically change the oil and gas value chain, and in what areas the company should invest to gain competitive advantage.

Our task was to develop a framework to help the client forecast and analyze future trends, and to help ensure that the organization's IT applications would fit its future needs. Working with the client, as well as a few of the client's competitors and non-industry leaders in information technology, we gathered views on 10-year predictions of the future of technical computing. This data provided the foundation for the project's long-term "Vision Review and Refinement" work.

We applied our findings to both the upstream (exploratory) and downstream (refining) aspects of the client's business. Among our recommendations: The client should take steps to exploit world-class networking as a backbone for all business operations; shift away from its traditional supercomputing approach; and focus additional resources on algorithm development to solve business problems through software applications.

We helped the client see that building blocks, tools, fundamental knowledge, and human and organizational processes all combine to form a business solution. We also helped the company link solutions throughout specific areas of its business (e.g., by integrating activities to create enterprise-wide optimization in the shared-earth model, geo-steering, real-time control and optimization, knowledge management, virtual labs, and molecular modeling areas).

The client now has a clear strategy outline and framework to actively manage its 10-year vision of technical computing. It has also adopted a one-year review cycle in which it revisits its research, updates its vision, and reallocates funding to its R&D portfolio as necessary.