Every day we hear different “buzz words” related to information technology. We hear terms like “cloud”, “SaaS”, “data center”, “data warehouse”, etc. Yet, there are some people that don’t fully understand these different terms or their associated benefits. This blog post is going to address the issue of SaaS and its benefits.
Growing a business is a lot like growing up and moving out on your own. Initially, you try to keep expenses as low as possible to give yourself the financial flexibility that you need. You will do anything from eating ramen noodles to sleeping on a bean bag to save money. The same kind of thing happens with small upstream oil and gas companies, especially when it comes to their data management tools.
Have you seen this before? A small upstream company starts out but doesn’t have the funds available or understand the options and benefits for tracking their data. So, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access are the tools of choice. And this works great - for a while. It’s logical because, who doesn’t know how to use Excel? It’s user friendly, versatile, and most importantly – it’s cheap!
As the company grows, the data needs will change. Microsoft Excel is not going to work if you need to compile decision-making data in a quick and efficient way. Eventually, you have multiple Microsoft Excel documents and spreadsheets with potentially conflicting information or Microsoft Access databases that require a full time operator just to keep the data clean. Can you imagine the nightmare? This is a problem when presenting data for transactions associated with a data acquisition, a sale, reporting regulatory numbers, or even worse, there’s an audit!
What if there’s a way to minimize the growing pain while allowing for growth? This is where Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a perfect fit. SaaS allows companies to outsource – or “rent” – their data management hardware and applications instead of buying them outright. This gives companies the financial flexibility they desire, but also the functionality that they need. There are multiple reasons why SaaS is so valuable for small oil and gas companies to consider.
All of the maintenance of that application and the associated hardware rests with the vendor. This means that small companies do not need to purchase new servers and hire additional IT staff but can instead focus on their core-business strategies like they have since day one.
SaaS applications allow users to access their information wherever they can find internet access. Do you need to work from home? You can use your home computer if you want. Are you working on your vacation? (Yes, we hear the moans.) You can get on the hotel computer. That’s the flexibility of SaaS.
SaaS can be scaled to fit your needs. Scalability is very important depending on the type of business strategy you hold. I know a company that recently sold all of their fields for a huge profit, and is now sitting on a pile of money waiting for the next best opportunity to pop up. If they had bought a typical data management system, they would have been forced to pay the maintenance on that application even while they are not using it. This could range up to 25% on the license fee - year after year. SaaS typically allows you to pay for only what you use. If a company no longer needs the application, the fees will stop. But the service is very easy to resume when that next great acquisition is made. That is optimal financial flexibility!
SaaS provides the same functionality as normal network-based applications. Data can be uploaded directly from the field, pulled out in reports, analyzed by key personnel, and exported cleanly to potential buyers. This is very important as a clean data presentation could be the difference between getting what you want for your field, and settling for less because your presentation failed to convince your suitor otherwise.
Finally, SaaS has made huge strides in making sure that companies receive the same peace of mind that they would get from a normal network-based application when it comes to data security. By asking a few key questions, companies can rest assured that their data is secure and the proper processes are in place to keep it that way.
At the end of the day, SaaS is a great option for small companies to consider when they are looking to take the next step with their data management solutions. The financial flexibility it provides along with the required functionality it gives, allows companies to keep focus on their core-business strategies without breaking the bank.
If you are looking to take that next step with your data management solution and would like more information on what Data Frontline has to offer, than go to our website and check out our Production Data-lyzer Utility (PDU). To set up a demo or ask a question, than feel free to call us at 832-314-7426, or email us at email@example.com.