Utilites

With increasing pressure from changing business models and sources of energy, Utilities are increasingly required to act on 'smart' data to become efficient, competitive and customer savvy – probably for the first time in their history. How can they prepare for this future?

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Kapil Ravindrakumar Nanchahal

Business View

Kapil Ravindrakumar Nanchahal, Senior Director, Client Services, Utilities, Infosys

"While CXOs are looking for shorter ROI cycles, the agility to change business strategies, and speed to roll out newer business models – they must keep in mind that will all fail without operational, strategic and predictive analytics."


The utilities CXO needs to quickly adapt to this new environment. First, they need change the customer interaction models to meet regulatory and discretionary customer needs like distributed generation, rate options, smart homes or ancillary services. Next, CXOs must address the changing grid profile including renewables, distributed sources and consumers-think EVs- alike, and the resilience requirements arising out of these.

Also on the cards is the need to address the diversification of business models and the ability to operate in a partner-based ecosystem with plug-and-play business and technology capabilities. While CXOs are looking for shorter ROI cycles, the agility to change business strategies, and speed to roll out newer business models – they must keep in mind that will all fail without operational, strategic and predictive analytics.
Chagla Syed

Technical View

Chagla Syed, Senior Technology Architect, Infosys                              

"Utilities should adopt disruptive technologies to enable transformation programs and support new business capabilities."


To prepare for the future, utilities should adopt disruptive technologies to enable transformation programs and support new business capabilities.

Examples of such technologies include: IT/OT convergence, in which real-time information from field devices is enabling new outage management and asset/customer service capabilities; Big Data analytics that enable real-time access to operations data and asset data; Internet of Things (IoT) for better energy management, electric vehicle charging services, distributed energy generation services and home automation services; subscription to specialized services (software/hardware) through the SaaS and PaaS models, which allows IT to either 'show back' (help utilities understand how their IT spend is enabling their services) or 'charge back' (bill to each unit according to their IT usage); cloud computing to reduce costs, improve business and IT agility; advanced Automatic Metering Infrastructure to disconnect-reconnect remotely, reduce load, preventive maintenance and; other enabling services such as legacy modernization.
Trilochan Sahoo

Domain View

Trilochan Sahoo, Principal Consultant, Utility Center of Excellence, Infosys

"The importance and value of information is growing as context-based information is used to gain deeper insights into consumers and utility operations."


The significant increase in IP-based devices on the electrical network is causing an explosion of data, driven through technology advances such as smart meters, network sensors, electric vehicles, and in-home appliances.

An increase in automated technologies leads to information generated from a diversity of sources and formats. The importance and value of information is growing as context-based information is used to gain deeper insights into consumers and utility operations. Utility's ability to digitize and standardize this information is critical and this can be achieved through advanced analytic capabilities for predictive fault analysis, effective demand response, customer sentiment analysis, enriched customer experience, and regulatory compliance.
Stuart Ravens

Industry Analyst View Ovum

Stuart Ravens, Principal Analyst, Energy Technology, Ovum

"Part of utilities' response to these changes will be to upgrade their IT infrastructure to support new data-centric business models."


All utilities will see their worlds change dramatically over the coming years. While increasing competition is a strong driver for change, distributed generation, smart metering, smart grids, renewables, and electric vehicles are disrupting the traditional utility business model. Part of utilities' response to these changes will be to upgrade their IT infrastructure to support new data-centric business models. Utilities undergoing significant business transformations must do the most important things well: get C-level commitment to the project, keep a razor-sharp focus on change management, get the best advisors, and create the right internal organization to deliver the project.
Roberta Bigliani

Industry Analyst View IDC

Roberta Bigliani, Associate Vice President, Head of EMEA, IDC Energy Insights

"Utilities are finally embracing transformation rather than resisting it, putting digital at the core."


Utilities are finally embracing transformation rather than resisting it, putting digital at the core. At IDC, we think they will succeed if they work across five key dimensions: Leadership, to develop a vision for the digital transformation of the business; Operating Model, to make business operations more responsive and effective; Customer Experience and beyond, to attract and grow loyalty and trust with customers, partners, and employees; Information, leveraging it to create competitive advantage and create a cognitive-based decision making process and; finally WorkSource, to transform the way they access, connect and leverage the talent needed in the current evolving scenario.