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What the energy industry can learn from the financial world

Partner ecosystems are typical in the consumer world, but they have not seen equivalent uptake in heavy-asset industries. One major reason: Industrial data today is trapped in siloed systems, slowing innovation and competition and inhibiting cost reduction. 

What would a major turn toward data sharing and ecosystems in heavy-asset industry look like? Consider the financial industry.

For decades, conventional banks collected valuable information about their customers and their transaction patterns, but the data wasn’t harnessed to its full potential. Banks, like industrial companies, operated in siloed systems, which were mostly closed and strictly owned by banks.

Open banking is upending this landscape, and banks are responding by changing their business models for good. 

Open banking emerged from the Revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2), a set of laws and regulations for payment services in the EU to secure digital payments and expand financial ecosystems. It’s a collaborative model where banks and other financial institutions exchange customer data via open APIs. 

By breaking down silos, financial institutions can understand and respond to customers’ needs. This puts the customer at the center, and new apps and services can be designed around them.

“Infrastructure is no longer enough to keep customers,” said Rune Garborg, head of the Norwegian mobile wallet provider Vipps. With more than 3 million users and 400,000 transactions a day, Vipps is the largest solution of its kind in Norway.

Rune Garborg, CEO, Vipps

Customers expect simplicity and a robust user experience, Garborg said. And since APIs now enable easy access to banking information, the door is open to new players and solutions. That means more competition. 

“Vipps has to stay on its toes and constantly develop new functionalities to maintain its position in the market,” Garborg said.

Amid growing pressure to reduce emissions and operate more efficiently, more industrial companies are turning to greater collaboration and data sharing to solve common challenges.

The development of open data forums in the energy industry (such as the Open Subsurface Data Universe for subsurface data sharing) is a promising sign of a growing awareness of the benefits of data sharing. As Hart Energy covered, in the world of subsurface, sharing KPIs to more effectively benchmark performance across a basin will incentivize the industry to deliver operational efficiencies to match peer groups.

There are still many obstacles to easy data sharing in heavy-asset industries, particularly for the energy sector. Measures like shared and micro KPIs among operators serve as best practices guides for specific areas of their operations, and could help spur new collaborations around data sharing in the future. 

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