In brief

In brief

  • Just 6% of utilities identified as leaders in technology adoption.
  • Global distribution executives already report energy transition-related disruption in operations.
  • US utility executives rank “faster speed of product and service innovation” as their number one goal.
  • Ninety-three percent of organizations (cross-industry) have further to go to reach the future-ready level.

The future of utility operations is here

Utilities worldwide are moving from behind the scenes to take charge and lead the energy transition; all while maintaining their focus on being safe, reliable, affordable—and clean.

Ready to seize the moment?

In early 2021, we compared the financial performance of leaders in technology adoption versus laggards. Just 6% of utilities identified as leaders in technology adoption—compared to other industries that range between 10-18%.1

In other research studies for utilities, we found:


distribution executives report energy transition-related disruption.2


US utilities executives rank “faster product and service innovation speed” as the #1 goal.3

Is your business ready for the future of utility operations management?

Accenture’s Future-ready research indicates that operating model maturity is advancing among global organizations. Our research and experience reveal four levels of operations maturity: stable, efficient, predictive and future-ready. Each level is grounded in and enabled by progressively more sophisticated technology, talent, processes and data insights.

On average, organizations we found to be future-ready show:


higher efficiency levels for future-ready organizations


boost in corporate profitability for future-ready organizations

Across industries, 93% of organizations have further to go to reach the future-ready level.4

Key future-ready capabilities

Consider how we measure future readiness and why it matters. Being future-ready reflects an organization’s ability to scale eight characteristics of operating model maturity.

Cross-industry view of capabilities currently in wide use or use at scale.

Cross-industry view of capabilities currently in wide use or use at scale: data, analytics, business-tech collaboration, agile workforce, leading practices, automation, stakeholder experience and AI.

Three ways for utilities to become future-ready

Future-ready organizations are best positioned to achieve their growth and cost objectives, delivering value for their customers, employees, shareholders and communities.

01 Know the ultimate goal

Organizations tend to approach operations improvements too incrementally. Instead think big and start with the end goal in mind.

02 Know the key steps

There are many steps between levels of maturity, but some can’t be skipped. Accenture recognizes three as crucial: automate at scale; augment human talent with technology; and commit to data-driven decision making.

03 Know how to leapfrog maturity levels

Being future-ready requires a flexible operating model: an optimized combination of multidisciplinary teams and technologies that work across a broad ecosystem of partners.

The goal of future utility: outsmart, outperform, outpace the competition

The journey to becoming future-ready by applying intelligent operations isn’t straightforward. Nor is it the same for everyone.

As utilities reinvent their businesses to lead the energy transition—driving value for their stakeholders on the path to net zero while enabling others to do the same—Accenture sees intelligent operations as the fast-track to becoming a future-ready utility.

Now is the time to make your move to intelligent operations. Here's how:


big and go beyond incremental change


a human + machine, specialized workforce


intuition with the highest-quality, diverse data


a cloud infrastructure at the heart


automation and analytics, AI and integrated solutions with leading practices


complementary third-party and ecosystem relationships

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Katherine Healey

Managing Director - Operations, Utilities

Scott Tinkler

Senior Managing Director – Strategy & Consulting, Utilities Global Lead


Fast-track to future-ready performance
Taking charge: Utilities lead the way to net zero
Every utility leader is a technology leader

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