International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) is a petroleum company in the United Arab Emirates. The firm was founded by his Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nayan, who is also the father and founder of UAE with the aim of advancing his vision of the natural petroleum wealth of Abu Dhabi build a modern and diversified economy for the benefits of future generations. IPIC serve many parts of the Asian continent by supplying oil, petroleum and gas products. The firm is also in collaboration with many other international petroleum companies such as Nova Chemical in Canada, CEPSA and Hyundai oil bank to mention but a few. The firm has achieved tremendous success ever since it was inaugurated in 1984. It has successfully diversified its operations in various parts of the globe while still maintaining its mission of bettering the life of the people of Abu Dhabi. One challenge that has faced the organization is the successful adoption and use of technology to better its performance. Therefore, this paper is a case study analysis, which aims to find out the challenges that the firm faces in using technology and explains how the application of digital technology will help IPIC maintain a competitive advantage.
Technological Challenges at the Firm
Before discussion of any challenges that IPIC face in adopting seamless digital technology for its operations, it is important to note that the leaders and employees of the firm feel that adopting digital methods of operations would adequately improve their performance. However, there are obstacles that impeded the development of technological use in the firm. Some of these factors are discussed below.
Strategic Planning and Implementation
Many mature firms such as IPIC usually have various activities to conduct within a short time. They also have goals, objectives to meet and clients to respond to. Similarly, the firm has many ongoing projects to accomplish. The busy nature of the firm makes it hard for them to come up with effective strategies for initiating and developing the technological use for their operations. Research shows that the ability to effectively the use technology in any organization relies on their strategies (Kane, Palmer, Phillips, & Kiron, 2015). Any firm with effective methods of acquisition and transformation can achieve technological development. However, when the firm lacks adequate strategies for developing new technology, then it becomes hard for its employees to use such platforms. Similarly, once the firm has come up with effective strategies, it is equally important to develop working methods of implementation. For example, the firm may decide to implement technological advancement systematic or department-by-department until that time when the entire organization will be ready to adopt the use of digital technology adequately. The organization may also decide to implement the use of technology once in the entire organization. They must also have effective methods of assessment and evaluation to examine whether their technology is working or not. Therefore, ability to achieve technological advancement heavily relies on the strategic planning and implementation methods adopted by the firm (Steinsb, Nolten, & Martinotti, 2014).
Dissatisfaction by Employees
There are evident uses of technology in IPIC to a given degree. However, there is still need for full adoption of effective technological methods for further success in the firm. It has been a bit difficult for the firm to adopt the effective use of technology because many employees in the firm are not happy with the way the organization uses technology in various sectors. Employees in some organizations take part in using technological platforms such as social media and seem to do this without any trouble. However, they complain that adopting digital technological use in the companies they work for is not easy because of the technological nature found in these organizations (Kane, Palmer, Phillips, & Kiron, 2015).
The employees state that their firms do not make it easy for them to use technology for factors such as communication, which is very vital for any organizational development. They also believe that the leaders in the firm they work for are not enthusiastic in digitally transforming the firms. The main reason is that leaders in the firms have different opinions about digitalizing their operations. Some of them find the method a threat while others only a small percentage finds it beneficial. Therefore, the differences in opinions pose threats in the adoption of digital technologies in the firm (Kane, Palmer, Phillips, & Kiron, 2015). Similarly, the employees who were dissatisfied stated that they find it easy to use digital platforms to communicate with their family members, bank online, and even check the weather. However, the same is not true with the situation at work. The employees report that their places of work make it hard for them to communicate with each other and even make necessary inferences on matters that would make them more productive at work.
The employees at IPIC also find it hard to interact easily with one another by using technology at work. Just like the case of Disney, the organization is trying its best to bridge this gap by allowing its human resources to interact with coworkers and with the company by using sophisticated mobile interfaces to perform reviews, find conference rooms and even apply for internal jobs and opportunities in other branches of the firm. Ability to use such types of technology also promotes networking n an otherwise busy multinational organization (Ward, 2016). The firm would also want it, employees, to use technology to conference with employees in other regions of the world. However, fixing and even implementing such requirement is technical and requires an elaborate procedure. The firm also needs to adopt digital technology for interacting with their clients locally and globally.
Poor Responses to Digital Trends
Poor response to digital trends by leaders of the firm also makes it hard for firms to be able to adopt the use of technological advancement within their departments. The main reasons why many leaders in a firm may respond poorly to technological developments rely on factors such as sensitivity to organizational information (Steinsb, Nolten, & Martinotti, 2014). A company like PIC may find it hard to use information technology for storing their data for fear of threat to their information. It is common for malicious[s people to get an authorized access to n organizations data which might also hinder their operations by leaking unwanted data to the public. they might also get the data to the firms competitors who might use the information against the organization. IPIC being a large firm can digitalize their technological operation only if they adopt effective methods of protecting their information from unauthorized people.
The Willingness to Experiment and Take Risks
Since IPIC is a multinational oil corporation that serves a wide variety of clients globally, they always tend to avoid risk taking in experimenting with technological procedures in serving their clients. The lack of ability to take risk originates from the sophisticated nature of the type of products and clients the firm deals with. They are always aware of uncertainties in using technological advancement to conduct operational procedures such as delivery of petroleum products (Ward, 2016). Therefore, they tend to resort to traditional methods that they find efficient and well known to them. Similarly, the mature and well-developed firm such as IPIC lacks the willingness to experiment with new operational strategies such as the use of ethnology. They also find it dangerous to take risks in adopting operational methods that they have never used in their systems before. The unwillingness is founded on the need to reduce risks and satisfy a large group of clients.
Ability to Develop Digitally Savvy Talent
Being digitally savvy refers to the fact that the employees in an organization adequate knowledge and skills required to use technology to accomplish various goals in the firm. The main issue that IPIC has faced in developing technology in its operations is their inability to develop digitally savvy talents within the firm. The firm needs to train constantly their employees on the use of technology to perform various operations. For example, the employees need effective training on using technology for factors such as supply chain management, data warehousing and management, accounting, and customer satisfaction among others (Kane, Palmer, Phillips, & Kiron, 2015). However, the firm has not come up with an effective process of training and developing digitally savvy team. Inability to train employees to acquire the necessary technological knowledge leads to a lack of certain fundamental technological skills. Therefore, it will be hard for the employees of the firm to digitalize their operations. Research on digital training has revealed that only 19% of mature companies such as IPIC have provided their employees with the opportunities of obtaining skills and knowledge of digital technology usage in their areas of duty.
Organizational Culture and Transformation
Research has shown that organizational culture plays a significant role in digital transformation. One culture that the organization requires achieving digital transformation is the willingness to experiment and take risks. However, if the leaders of IPIC are not willing to take risks and experiment with technological methods of operations, then they will not be able to achieve digital transformation (Kane, Palmer, Phillips, & Kiron, 2015). On the same note, the employees must also be willing to experiment with technological methods of performing their duties. By s doing, they will be able to acquire the right methods of technological operations that will make their duties easy and efficient. The need to take risks and experiment with new technologies is lacking in many developed organizations like IPIC.
Insufficient Knowledge and Skills for Digital Transformation
Another factor that creates a challenge for digital transformation is when the leaders lack sufficient knowledge and skills to help their organization transition into a digital age. If the leaders lack adequate technological skills, then it means that they will not be able to mentor their employees in adopting digital technological methods of operations (Ward, 2016). Similarly, poor or lack of technological knowledge also means that the leaders will not easily accept such transformations into the firm.
Ability to Diversify Their Operations
The firm needs to be able to diversify their operations to be able to adopt technological advancement. Research shows that if a firm makes its operations diverse, it is able t use technology to help it make work easy (Steinsb, Nolten, & Martinotti, 2014). However, if the operations of the firm are limited, then the leaders will not find it necessary to use technology to make their work efficient. Therefore, for IPIC to be able to effectively transition into the use of technology, they must be able to diversify their operations and even recognize how the use of technology will help them make such operations easy.
Many mature firms live in a digitalized world where every operation of an organization is driven by some technology. IPIC is an international petroleum organization that serves many firms and clients globally. In that case, it is important for the firm to develop effective technological methods to make their operations smooth. However, reports indicate that despite the availability of technology in the firm, the ability to fully rely on digita...
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