In a June issue of Public Utilities Fortnightly, Accenture highlights the changes already are under way in the utilities industry that will facilitate the move toward a digital value chain and create new opportunities. The acceleration of distributed and variable energy sources is creating a grid with smarter end-points. Employees are pushing for digital innovation to make their jobs easier and more interesting. The explosion of data from meters, customers, assets and other sources creates an environment ripe for exploration with sophisticated analytics, while the deployment of new digital assets, such as smart meters, makes it easier to track results and make decisions based on real-time information.
The business case for utilities to undertake the digital transformation is compelling. In the face of rising costs, new competitors and uncertain growth in demand, utilities need to consider new ways of doing business.
Pursuing digital transformation can be the most effective and cost-efficient way for utilities to address current business challenges and achieve sustainable growth. However, accomplishing such a transformation requires more than the adoption of technologies.
Rather, utilities will have to adopt new approaches to dealing with customers and new ways to manage work and optimize the energy value chain. The industry is ripe for this fundamental but much-needed change.
This article was published in Public Utilities Fortnightly in June 2014. Copyright PUR Inc. (www.fortnightly.com). Used by permission of the publisher.
We have identified eight key digital ‘plays’ that can potentially deliver significant value and create new business model opportunities across the utility value chain:
Digital Asset Management
Digital Field Applications
Optimizing Commercial Operations
Interactive Demand Optimization
Intelligent Grid Operations
Digital Consumer Interaction
Digitally Enabled Products & Services
Digital Enterprise Model
What challenges will utilities face as they look to become digital?