We hope that you have been following along as we’ve ventured into digital transformation for the Energy sector. Here, we’ll explore the final steps you’ll want to take in your digitization journey. If you’ve been taking the steps outlined in our playbook, Adventures in Digitization: The Digitization Playbook for Energy Companies, you’re well on your way.
By now, you’ve already done the groundwork and have a clear understanding of the costs involved and you’ve gained the support of your executives who recognize the benefits of going digital. Plus, your pilot test will ensure your plan is solid. So, kudos to you for making it this far!
Now, it’s time to dot the i’s and cross the t’s for a successful implementation of your new digital process. Just like in the previous stages, we’re going to emphasize the importance of incorporating change management into your digitization plan and discuss compliance standards for a quick glimpse into the digital future. Continue reading as we guide you through the final details to consider.
Communication is a major component of any successful implementation process. When introducing an electronic management system or a new workflow, advise employees well ahead of any changes. Help them understand the “why” behind the decision and the benefits that will result. Clear and transparent communication can reduce internal resistance, set realistic expectations, and increase adoption rates.
A strong change management approach should include a robust training program with ongoing support and encouragement to effectively take your company digital. Keep workflows and processes as simple as possible. A budget that allows for proper staff training will help ensure people comply with the new process and build faith in the integrity of electronic data as the source of truth.
Whether you opt to manage your path to digitization in-house or choose to work with a vendor, awareness, and understanding of matters relating to compliance are essential to mitigate risks. Especially for the energy industry, meeting compliance standards will help avoid the cost implications of fines, the need to repurchase documents, or the breach of contractual obligations.
Compliance planning ranges from mandatory requirements to suggested best practices. Your organization’s level of risk tolerance will ultimately drive the approach taken, but the following are the levels of compliance to consider:
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Three Levels of Compliance
Level 1: Regulatory/Legal
Legislation, regulations, and policies of government departments and agencies prescribe minimum standards for electronic records to qualify digital copies as a source of truth. The procedures, policies, and systems of an organization must satisfy these legal standards.
Level 2: Standards/Guidelines/Best Practices
General standards, guidelines, and best practices are developed by several organizations. Be aware of published recommendations and use them to inform decisions for your organization. Published recommendations attempt to be compliant with current enactments but should be subject to legal review before developing internal practices.
Level 3: Internal Company Practice/Procedures
When considering “Level 3” guidelines, research all legislative and industry best practices to formulate your organization’s interpretation to ensure electronic documents are reliable, defensible, and auditable.
Look Forward to the Future
The final step in the digitization journey requires looking beyond the present to consider the possible future data needs of your company. Take a moment to reflect on the reasons you’ve embarked on this journey. Is it to increase efficiency, heighten data security, mitigate risk, enrich compliance, improve the bottom line, or enhance your competitive edge?
Whatever the motivation, it’s most likely driven by an existing and present need. However, it’s equally valuable to consider how your organization may change and evolve in the future, and to understand how technologies and document management platforms continue to progress. Implementing a scalable system takes your strategy to the next level and further reinforces return on investment.
Access understands the complexity of energy industry data and can help you with your digitization journey, regardless of where you are starting. Click here to connect with one of our agents today.
In the meantime, for more detailed information on each of the stages covered in this post, check out the “Adventures in Digitization for Energy Companies” playbook. In it, you’ll find helpful links and tools to guide you along each step of your digitization journey.