UK: +44 (0) 333.456.1589 & US: +1.281.416.2323

Another year, another OTC. Did you attend Houston’s Offshore Technology Conference this year?

By now, most folks are digging deep to analyze the information and business opportunities provided during this year’s massive event. Thousands of product managers, sales reps, and engineers gathered at NRG Park a few weeks ago to show off their latest in R&D, with the hopes of positioning their offerings to key decision makers.

Although having a consistent agenda throughout the years, 2018’s OTC seems to have been the first in a while to hint at renewed momentum toward growth. As I walked the aisles and discussed technology, I came away with three key thoughts.

Industry Optimism

As is the case when the economy’s status is in question, recent years have shown hesitance in making strategic decisions. Corporations still standing after the oil bust a few years ago had been in a reactive state, yearning for solutions and processes which could slow the hemorrhaging of profitability.

Not this year. An overwhelming majority of leaders I spoke with are encouraged by the uptick in barrel prices, as well as the fruits of manufacturers’ labor in new equipment development. This leads us to takeaway two.

Further Marrying of Software and Hardware

It was incredible to see some of the collaboration between specialty equipment manufacturers and software developers. Robotics and automation are the future.

For the first time, we’re really seeing the power that these high-tech systems can wield as it pertains to these companies’ IT strategies. This is not something that came about overnight, of course, but things seem to be coming together where the blending of these technologies not only make sense from a safety and process efficiency standpoint, but also an economical one.

As the costs for system development continue to go down, the feasibility of incorporating these systems into existing processes continues to grow. We’re seeing a strong shift in balance from predominantly blue-collar operations to a varied blend, including very high levels of technical expertise in programming and development.

Regulatory Compliance

This is usually something not immediately forthcoming. But with the continued convergence of data and hardware, companies will feel the pinch of pressure to ensure they aren’t at risk from a legal standpoint.

When discussing approaches to project delivery and overall strategy, more than a few thought leaders I chatted with admitted that ensuring compliance when navigating the global business scene was a top priority.

As a consultancy that’s experienced in working with highly regulated industries, this was no shock to us. However, it’s something that absolutely does not need to be pushed aside until the last minute.


If you have questions about your business strategy and feel that an objective, high-level conversation may be of value, please reach out to me to discuss how Factum can put your mind at ease!

You can also connect with me on LinkedIn.