MIS Quarterly Executive


Unlike digitally savvy banking and retail industries, oil and natural gas businesses are latecomers to digitization. With large capital investments in complex industrial operations,firms in latecomer industries are seeking ways to cut costs and become responsive to market demands. Executives in oil and natural gas companies are facing unprecedentedpressure to cut costs due to market turbulence and need advice on how to undertake digitization; organizational changes needed; who should lead the digitization effort; and the role of the chief information officer (CIO) in executing a digital strategy. We address these issues by drawing on the experience of Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc. High fixed costs and declining gas prices required Encana to synchronize production with volatile demand for natural gas. To gain supply chain visibility, Encana's CIO and business leaders jointly targeted operational processes to embed digital technologies to capture, integrate and deliver information, established new Information Systems (IS) governance policies and redesigned the IS organizational structure. Together, these actions strengthened Encana's agility to respond to price and demand volatility. In doing so, Encana has become a frontrunner in a latecomer industry.