The utility industry faces several challenges they increasingly need to act on. Many utility companies have seen the digital transformation of the industry as a threat to their existing business model, for instance.
But digital transformation in energy and utilities means huge opportunities for those riding the wave into the future of energy. The potential benefits of digitisation in other industries have time and time again proven to be greater than projections previously stated. The energy sector will likely be the same.
The digital revolution in the power sector
The digital revolution is well underway in the power and utility sector. The results are all around us. Renewables, distributed generation, and smart grids are expanding capabilities. They’re triggering new business models and regulatory frameworks. Data collection and exchange are also growing exponentially. But there are also valuable opportunities to increase efficiency, productivity, and profitability in the sector.
Competition is taking place online more than ever. The Internet of Things (IoT) is opening the world to new products, management, and energy savings. There are smart meters being promoted by the government, more competition, and more pressure than ever to become greener. The pace of change in the energy and utility sector is quick. Those who can keep up have lucrative opportunities ahead.
The levels of potential
The impact of technological improvements, development, and usage on productivity and efficiency occur through all levels of organisations and the value chain. For example:
- Resources – Big data enables distributed energy resources, accurately aligning supply and demand, creating energy and economic savings.
- Infrastructure management – Data drives asset strategies like preventative and condition-based maintenance.
- Efficiency – Smart grids automate controls to improve network reliability, efficiency, and resilience.
- Service – Data on customer interactions and journeys help to improve the customer experience, segmentation, and B2C communication.
- Workforce – Field staff have mobile access to data, maps, applications, communication tools, and real-time expertise.
- Office – Automation and data drive efficiency and more effective decision making.
The areas where the biggest changes may occur include:
Also, many of these improvements are driven by a single factor which has infinite uses: data.
Data and productivity
Data is essential for boosting productivity in energy and utility companies. It underpins excellent decision making at every level, whether these decisions are automatic or manual. For example, the smart meter roll-out has given businesses a unique, detailed view into exactly how individual customers utilise energy. The possibilities for this data are huge.
Energy companies know what customers need and what they use, and this can inform other sections of the business. For example, how much energy they need to generate, how much they need to purchase, fuel consumption, areas of inefficiency, where the business needs to go next, and other questions are easy to answer with data. It also gives customers better insight into their own behaviours, giving them the confidence to adapt their energy usage for better savings and more efficiency.
But it’s important to ensure the back-end and management of the business is digitised too, to accommodate for increasing efficiency in other areas of the business. Otherwise, the head office could hold back developments. This starts by updating your organisation and management software for all staff. Without that, nothing else is possible.
Inform People is a technological solution, built to help large businesses operate with extreme efficiency. Our platform’s data collection, data analysis, communication, and automated information sharing tools make high levels of productivity possible across all teams and countries. For more information, get in touch with us today on 0161 713 4104 or visit our website.