Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) is one of the largest oil and gas companies in the Gulf region and an important contributor to the Kuwaiti economy. Currently operating two primary refineries, the company is now building one of the biggest refineries in the world.
Though the oil refining industry tends to be risk-averse, KNPC has consistently embraced innovative, cutting-edge ideas. “At KNPC, we see adopting a new technology, like cloud and big data, as a means to lead the market,” says Abdulaziz AlDuaij, CIO at KNPC.
Building a Community Cloud
KNPC IT recently decided to create a community cloud, which would host infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service, and database-as-a-service offerings for in-house teams and users at sister companies. To create the new multi-site private cloud, the company deployed VMware NSX® network virtualization and the VMware vRealize® Suite cloud management platform. “Our adoption of a VMware-based Software-Defined Data Center will enable our cloud transformation and help IT be a strategic partner by operating at the speed at which our business is moving,” AlDuaij says.
Network virtualization helps eliminate bottlenecks in the network, so the business can roll out new or updated services with full security in a timely manner. Network virtualization also provides the flexibility to move virtual machines or entire data centers from one physical location to another, without downtime. Micro-segmentation capabilities let administrators apply granular security controls. Finally, a virtualized network will enable KNPC to pool compute resources from any of its three physical data centers. By pooling these resources in a single cloud, KNPC expects to triple its current resource utilization rates.
Through the cloud management platform, KNPC IT is gaining better visibility into the IT infrastructure. The platform allows administrators to predict capacity requirements and rapidly resolve issues through proactive monitoring. In addition, its IT automation capabilities help eliminate manual tasks. As a result, these capabilities can boost the efficiency of IT administration; KNPC anticipates reducing management costs by as much as 60 percent.
Improving Provisioning and Access to Insights
KNPC IT expects the cloud environment to speed provisioning of new services, enabling the group to more effectively address evolving business needs. In fact, KNPC IT believes that it will be able to deliver new services 60 to 70 percent faster than before. That speed should improve customer satisfaction and reduce the growing use of shadow IT.
At the same time, the cloud can facilitate easier access to new insights. “The units throughout our refineries depend on IT services for informed decision-making,” AlDuaij says. The new environment “enables us to put applications and big data on top of our cloud services so senior management has access to actionable business intelligence.”
Energizing a Culture of Change
As KNPC understands, sparking innovation often requires more than deploying new technologies. It requires a company culture that is receptive to change. AlDuaij is helping build that culture within his own team and across the company. “Initially KNPC users were worried because this is a big transformation change,” AlDuaij says. “Now they are accepting the change and asking for more.”
To discover what motivates AlDuaij to lead KNPC through digital transformation, check out the video below: