How to achieve digital success in an increasingly complex IT landscape
80 percent of all IT directors answer that the complexity of IT is increasing. This is where Cegal comes in with the goal of turning complex IT into digital success for customers.
In autumn 2021, it became known that the owners of the oil and gas tech company Cegal wanted to buy the hydropower tech company Sysco. In the Norwegian podcast Teknologioptimistene [The Tech Optimists], Cegal CEO Dagfinn Ringaas talks about the rationale behind Sysco and Cegal joining forces, how the new Cegal will help customers and what technology trends he sees in the energy industries which are now merging into one industry.
In surveys, 80% of IT directors answer that the complexity around IT has become much greater.
Dagfinn Ringås, Cegal
“There is more pressure from owners, boards and politicians that technology and IT solutions should provide business benefits. Then they look at the soup of solutions: old systems, new systems, cloud, hybrid, multicloud - you can go crazy with this complexity. This is where Cegal comes in. We help with IT infrastructure so that it just works and is secure. We help customers make technologies play together, no one has just one platform. We help make data available so that data becomes insight. And we help create lightweight software solutions; an app for production planning, for energy dispatching or for seismic analysis to find mounts for wind turbines subsea,” starts Dagfinn Ringaas.
“Tell me about the new Cegal after the merger between Sysco and Cegal,” asks Chul Christian Aamodt at Teknologioptimistene.
Ringaas tells: “We are a technology company that wants to help our customers turn complex IT into digital success. We work with exciting bleeding-edge technologies and we contribute to the green shift that the energy industry is facing. We focus on three areas:
We want to build one of the world's best technology companies for the energy industry.
Dagfinn Ringås, Cegal
Chul Christian Aamodt wants to know: “How mature is the energy industry for moving applications and solutions to the cloud?”
“Cloud transformation goes in waves. The first phase was email services, online banking and other services we might not think of as cloud solutions. The second wave came with Microsoft Office and other "bread and butter" applications. Now there is a big wave where larger, heavier business applications are being moved to the cloud. There is a relatively high level of maturity among the energy companies to move critical operational solutions into the cloud,” Ringaas replies.
“What about the security around cloud solutions?”
Ringaas answers: “What the big cloud providers, such as Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Oracle, have in terms of security expertise exceeds what most businesses manage to build up themselves. Today, one is dependent on having redundancy and spreading risks linked to critical IT systems. Here, the cloud can play a key role.”
Listen to the podcast Teknologioptimistene to get to know Dagfinn Ringaas better, the rationale behind the Sysco and Cegal merger, how the Cegal owners see the future of Cegal and much more…
Agile IT projects can be challenging
In the podcast Teknologioptimistene, presenter Chul Christian Aamodt and Cegal CEO Dagfinn Ringaas discuss different methodologies around the implementation of critical business applications. In recent years, agile projects have become more common instead of more traditional methodologies, such as the waterfall method. With agile methods, the path is made along the way, while the waterfall method is characterized by the fact that the solution and development are defined in advance and that the system or solution is often put into production with a "big bang".
I the podcast Chul Christian Aamodt ask: “How mature is the energy industry to rethink agile development? In the industry, you are used to a project starting somewhere and ending where you have decided. For example, that a power line should go from A to B. Within IT, it has become common to embrace flexible methodology, where you know where you start, but that the goal is constantly moving and that the path is created along the way.”
I understand the skepticism of agile methodology.
Dagfinn Ringaas, Cegal
Ringaas replies: “I recognize that the energy industry lags a little behind in the waterfall methodology. At the same time, I also understand the skepticism of agile methodology. Imagine that you have ordered a car, and then the supplier has to build it along the way. I don't know when the car will be finished, what equipment it will have or what it will look like. It's not a good feeling.”
“One should not complain about customers or an industry that lags behind in the waterfall methodology. It is natural to want to know what you are buying and when it is finished. But a fixed implementation and development methodology does not work well in IT where needs and requirements change along the way. That is why partnership and collaboration between customer and IT partner is so important. The essence of agile methodology is that you have a dialogue when there are changes. The goal must be that we as a supplier want to achieve a really good solution that our customers are satisfied with, not that we are looking to invoice the most hours possible.”
“Who decides IT purchases today?” Aamodt wonders in the podcast.
“The IT director and the IT department are always there. We find that IT works more closely with the business than before. Many businesses have been given a digitization director who is often a link between the IT department and business and strategy. In addition, the process owners, the professionals, are involved. The traditional, general key account manager, who brings pastries and coffee to sales meetings, will have very few people to talk to. As an IT partner, we must have industry experts who understand and can talk to the professionals at the customers,” Ringaas answers.
The fact that the energy industries are now in the process of merging into one industry was one of the reasons why Sysco and Cegal merged.
Dagfinn Ringaas, Cegal
“We were very clear to both the owners and the board that we wanted to marry Cegal. We saw a very large potential in merging the companies. Although it was formally Cegal that bought Sysco, in practice it was a merger between two equal companies,” says Dagfinn Ringaas. Today he is CEO of Cegal. Until the acquisition, he was the CEO of Sysco.
Cegal and Sysco did the same thing at opposite ends of the energy industry. Both companies engaged in software, consulting services and operations. Sysco had a very strong muscle on the consulting side, while Cegal had the weight on cloud operation. The companies therefore complemented each other well. With the merger, we wanted to create the best technology company for the entire energy industry,” concludes Ringaas.
Read the blog post: SYSCO and Cegal are joining forces to create a leading, global tech company for the energy sector >
Read the blog post: With a new name and brand Cegal will play a key role in the green transition >