Share Icon Share button for social media Directions icon Directions icon for sliders Directions icon Directions Down for banner

We use cookies to enhance your experience. By using our website you consent to our use of cookies.

I Agree

Informed Solutions Group CEO Elizabeth Vega delivers keynote on digital transformation at Shell’s global geomatics conference.

How does one of the world’s largest, industry leading energy producers stay ahead of its peers? By continually maintaining excellence in its core disciplines, leveraging its extraordinary data assets to best effect on behalf of the business, whilst keeping a sharp and innovative eye on the future!

Last month, I was privileged to be invited, along with my colleague Justin Hassall, to give a key note presentation to Royal Dutch Shell’s global Geomatics community, as part of their global conference.  The conference theme was ‘Foundations and Future’, a theme that resonates with me personally, as it embodies the importance of maintaining excellence in what we do today, whilst being open and receptive to the changes and innovations needed to succeed tomorrow.

Geomatics is maybe an area of the energy industry with which you are less familiar.  It has a vital role to play in positioning assets and acquiring, managing and drawing new insights from geospatial data; highly valuable data which is part of the decision making currency for any geographically distributed and spatially reliant business.  The remit of Geomatics professionals ranges from precision survey, often in the least hospitable environments (e.g. remote pipeline construction or offshore platform positioning), to custodianship of highly valuable data assets (e.g. seismic surveys, hydrocarbon system analysis, well locations), to development and maintenance of spatial data services and decision support tools for the better performance of the core business.

With over $400B of assets throughout the world (according to Forbes: The World’s Largest Companies), Shell is amongst the most important global energy producers.  It was therefore a pleasure to spend time during the conference with the Shell Geomatics team, watching them play their part in tracking and managing this diverse portfolio of assets, improving operational functions, and ultimately looking for ways to deliver greater business performance.

And so, with an eye to the future, the theme of my keynote was Successful Digital Transformation, with a particular emphasis on the challenges of delivering transformational innovation at scale, in business and safety critical operations.  I offered some insights into my experiences as a Programme Director on major business transformation initiatives, what it really means to become a digital enterprise, and equally importantly how to create the capabilities, skills and jobs for tomorrow.

Elizabeth Vega speaking at the Shell Geomatics Conference

Elizabeth Vega speaking at the Shell Geomatics Conference


Recognising the critical importance of the business information that Geomatics manages and analyses on behalf of the wider Shell community, I shared insights into how Informed Solutions achieves a user centric approach to digital information services, drawn from my experiences across other sectors and organisations.  When your business information assets are as enormous and complex as Shell’s, it is especially challenging to wrestle this into user centered, easy-to-use services.  An especially interesting question put to me was whether I felt digital transformation was a continuation of ‘computerisation’ or something different, such as the ‘digitalisation of services’.  My own reflection is that computerisation was largely driven by organisations wanting to automate their current processes, to make things faster and more efficient for the benefit of the business.  Digitalisation, on the other hand, is about re-imagining the way that information services can be delivered for the benefit of users; at any time, from any device, from any place, in an intuitive and instantly understandable, easy to use manner. Therefore, digitalisation necessitates a change in our thinking and approach to design, and this is reflected in the breadth and diversity of skills now needed to deliver digital solutions.

All of which took me to my final point, how to build the breadth of skills now needed by your staff.  This is a challenge that most organisations are facing.  Here, I drew on my own experience of shaping and launching InformedACADEMY, Informed Solutions’ professional and skills development framework.  In deciding on a strategy for sustainably up-skilling and re-skilling our people, we felt that it’s important to help them understand their core strengths rather than just current skills, as well as map those against the jobs and skills needed tomorrow.  This helped us put in place a programme of continual learning and development for all staff, supported by coaching in leadership and team working best practices.

And, my closing thoughts?

  • Successful digital transformation is as much about culture as it is about strategy…
  • Build a culture of collaboration and partnering based working relationships to tackle innovation challenges…
  • Equip your teams with the capabilities & skills they need to build, operate & continually improve their digital and data driven services…
  • Look outside your immediate world for inspiration, because you have more challenges in common with others than you might think…

It was a thoroughly enjoyable, engaging and stimulating conference, where the conversations around the conference were balanced and focused as much on business opportunity and successfully delivering transformation, as on overcoming challenges and barriers.

As one of our longstanding clients, it is a privilege to observe and share Shell’s transformation journey. Kevin McLay (General Manager Geomatics & Technical Data Management; Chief Surveyor Shell) kindly noted,

‘Informed Solutions and Shell have enjoyed a successful relationship over many years, and it was greatly appreciated that they were able to share their valuable insights and experience of transformation from other sectors and industry with our global Geomatics community.’

share this page
@InformedTweet Delighted Sara and Annabel could support your Leadership Conference and meet your students. Paying it forward is -… https://t.co/mNnydPt2DC
@InformedTweet Surrounded by inspiration at the @TauheedulGirls Student Leadership Conference today. Looking forward to the day, w… https://t.co/vlbiQAgVRt
@InformedTweet Bootcamp for recent graduate recruits now concluded and so it's on to project work to apply the new insights and sk… https://t.co/lcXFnDyI2X
@InformedTweet and the Award goes to,,....,,,? Proud sponsors of the Greater Manchester Business Awards, Informed Solutions' Dave… https://t.co/n1VzwYvnAl
@InformedTweet Young, female and new to the IT sector – how does THAT work? Authentic reflections from colleague Helen Craven, sta… https://t.co/pk5HMnoAOJ
@InformedTweet Reflections on the fabulous Women in IT Awards Dinner – great female role models inspiring other women & huge thank… https://t.co/B85Jz5I2nr
@InformedTweet Amazing to know that we are part of inspiring the future #WomeninITAwards pic.twitter.com/sMuLKSp0cf
@InformedTweet Ready and raring for #WomeninITAwards, good luck to all the nominees pic.twitter.com/XeOcLWu1Ad
@InformedTweet Wintry conditions on the roads for the latest Client Satisfaction Review visit and/but ultra-cool when the client s… https://t.co/hM1DMcH2qm
@InformedTweet Exemplary work from @DigiLeaders in recognising, celebrating and disseminating digital successes and those who crea… https://t.co/6kJ64DWZ3G
@InformedTweet Help SMEs engage better with government and gain better access to public investment in GovTech projects by completi… https://t.co/vn58qWC562
@InformedTweet A call for Tech SMEs to act by Informed Group CEO @ElizabethTVega by completing the @techUK survey at… https://t.co/zktx68jVxd
@InformedTweet Never a better day for SMEs in Tech to build the evidence base of their capability to deliver public sector IT requ… https://t.co/gwsYpxg4wS
@InformedTweet Another day of carrying out our Annual Client Satisfaction Survey. Results to date highlight mix of expertise & int… https://t.co/6X9GxfnOJn
@InformedTweet Delighted Informed Solutions' Group CEO @ElizabethTVega has been shortlisted in the Outstanding Entrepreneur catego… https://t.co/wxbGIkEMfC
@InformedTweet It’s tradition for our Placement Students to dress up as Santa and his Elves each year to give out our Informed Chr… https://t.co/luECs9Yjwq
@InformedTweet During December 2017, The @TrussellTrust network provided 159,388 three-day emergency food supplies to people in cr… https://t.co/27K5KUiXVJ
@InformedTweet Thousands of professionals leave university each year with an expensive education and little business experience. C… https://t.co/UtXHOvMrmH
@InformedTweet #ChristmasJumperDay closes with our Delivery Management Community of Practice responding to request from North Pole… https://t.co/dGedEYcXvL
@InformedTweet Our lovely Informed team are celebrating #ChristmasJumperDay for @savechildrenuk... We wish you a Merry Christmas a… https://t.co/fP8lppynuo
@InformedTweet Holey Moley it's Christmas at Informed! #closecalls with #golfballs pic.twitter.com/i2uh4R1Spk
@InformedTweet Thanks @ukcloudltd for a fantastic night @TowerOfLondon! Impressive surroundings to celebrate impressive results in… https://t.co/bopOMf4xQ5
@InformedTweet Great insights into the work of #transformation leaders at our Salon, particularly within healthcare. Discussions i… https://t.co/JbmRvodDy6
@InformedTweet “To use data more effectively we need greater data interoperability, accessibility and discoverability combined wit… https://t.co/lCwecqEovS
@InformedTweet The #InternetOfThings is becoming the Internet of Places… Our UK CEO and GIS specialist Seth Finegan shared a st… https://t.co/PQrdCrPlcm
@InformedTweet Congratulations to this years’ Masters of Science in GIS @EdinburghUni! It was a privilege to attend the… https://t.co/Vgwo1TwSZx
@InformedTweet How does one of the world’s largest energy producers stay ahead of its peers? By maintaining excellence in core dis… https://t.co/IwRiflxave
@InformedTweet Informed Solutions’ Global CEO, @ElizabethTVega , has been nominated for no less than 3 categories in the… https://t.co/d7UZhnqt8W
@InformedTweet The next wave in Digital Transformation is #AI and #Innovation… Join us at the @DigiLeaders Salon December 12, expl… https://t.co/vfXPooqOM3
@InformedTweet A thought-provoking day with inspiring speakers and exciting insights into #Innovation in the Public Sector... Than… https://t.co/6cvkxEgeOm
@InformedTweet Driving STEM educational from the age of 11 is the key to a healthy digital economy in the future - insightful disc… https://t.co/M4lXExuIOa
@InformedTweet Great to hear MP Oliver Dowden discuss governmental strategies for driving innovation in the public sector and impl… https://t.co/2gq64KVcT5
@InformedTweet As #GI enthusiasts and experts we're saving the date for the @AGIScotland event... We're always delighted to partic… https://t.co/d4p9C9A2KJ
@InformedTweet With expertise in #GIS and #GovTech, we’re excited to be attending the @DigitalLeaders Public Sector Innovation Con… https://t.co/D4KEZlqR0E

Join the Conversation

Share your thoughts about what matters to you