“I got an iPhone 6.” So what?

I’ve attended many conferences, workshops, and similar show-and-tell events about data management and data analytics. From time to time I find users who, while enquiring about a system’s capability, ask the following question: “Can I have this on my smart phone/tablet?” Usually the answer is “yes” as most systems have some web interface that enables web “user-friendliness”.

This geCarlos-iphoneneral question comes from the enquirer’s past experience in using some mass consumer functionality over their smart phones, such as banking, social media, etc. Those applications are very basic in terms of options and few would have some plotting functionality.

In the case of corporate application, more specifically in oil & gas, this is far from the truth. Would you imagine planning a well, analysing real-time operations, or monitoring a detailed production profile using a smart phone? Sure, this could be possible, but “would you”? The size and chunkiness of those interfaces would make your life more difficult than “cool”. In addition, there is the whole issue of security. If there is a feed for confidential data, it might need to be stored somewhere in the smart phone, which creates a potential security breach, even if the communication between the server and the smart phone is encrypted.

I believe most of this functionality could and would be available for simple dashboards where minimal and consolidated information can be presented. This is like green-yellow-red semaphores for production or drilling, comparing planned vs actual and things like that. That would be enough to keep users informed and at rest or alternatively start them worrying and looking deeper into the issue. There are a number of obvious advantages of using tablets/smart phones to follow critical operations, but they should have limited scope.


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