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March 31, 2017
Building a digital operating model? Start here.
By: Tony Masella

Infinite disruption, new disruptors and opportunities, such as artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies are rapidly shaping the next chapter of the energy ecosystem revolution. More than ever, it is important to support strategy with an operating model that is agile, adaptive, digital and flexible.

While opportunities and challenges may seem limitless, time, talent and technology funding are not. As providers balance the need to pivot for the future with current daily demands, where do you start the journey to a digital mindset? What capabilities can earn value today—and what capabilities will enable the future state? And finally, how do you manage daily operations with one foot in today and one foot in tomorrow?

As part of the New Energy Consumer research, Accenture has identified three imperatives to guide a digital transformation: taking a people first approach, redesigning approaches to product and service delivery and shifting your technology mindset and approach to support the customer plays of the future.

Create the digital workforce of the future

As millennials become a larger portion of the workforce, they’re helping shape a new corporate culture. These workers view technology as the way to empower people to learn, grow, develop new solutions and disrupt the status quo. At the same time, collaboration, coaching, an entrepreneurial mindset and fluid temporary teams are rapidly replacing hierarchy, bureaucracy, functional silos and traditional notions of the “job.”

To prepare, every energy provider should articulate a talent vision and strategy to support these shifts. Another key consideration is assessing your leadership’s capability to lead the transition, confirm alignment across your enterprise, and set the digital yardsticks to drive meaningful change.

Build a multispeed mindset

In the new energy ecosystem, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Next-generation solutions must be built on a multifaceted IT operating model that incorporates integrated components. How can you get there? Embrace a multispeed mindset: a way of managing technology that enables business needs to be delivered at different velocities so you can compete at pace.

Start by embracing DevOps to support continuous integration, continuous delivery and automated testing of code. Then disaggregate your architectures—decoupling your systems of engagement from your systems of record. In separating these underlying technology architectures, you can deliver change in your business in a coordinated but non-synchronous way. Finally, consider how you can apply infrastructure “as-a-Service” to support greater innovation and flexibility.

New days, new ways

Being a digital business means adopting new ways of behaving and operating. Start by increasing your cadence in determining your customer strategy, designing your transformation and building new capabilities. We recommend starting with no-regrets investments to strengthen existing, core customer operations to become lean, operationally excellent and sustainable. Success in building digital capabilities to effectively engage consumers and reduce costs give providers the right to play in the new energy ecosystem as they will now have the capabilities to scale quickly, seize new revenue opportunities and tap into unconventional markets. The digital operating model has become the foundation for the new customer enterprise.

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