Digital transformation in utilities. How does it look like today? Are they keeping up with the efforts some sectors are doing?
A lot of sectors today are doing some kind of digital transformation or Dx. May it be in finance, healthcare, retail, or whatnot.
But the utility sector is one of those late for the Dx party. Why so?
Let us dig deeper into this article.
Digital Transformation in Utilities
What it means to do a Dx in utility is by adopting new ways of working. And making sure any changes they make are in line with their business goals.
Also, some of the common goals are to have:
- better customer experience
- better customer relations
- new business models
- better operations
But as said, the utility sector is slow to the Dx party. Why so?
Digital Transformation Challenges
One of the challenges for Dx in utility is companies making changes too fast. And that is most true for power and gas providers.
In the last five years, these companies invested millions of dollars for:
- data scientist
- mobile developers
The money they used on this can instead go to building more plants or other projects. But in the end, they only see a very low return even after the large budget.
Thus, making a point that Dx is not only about going digital by adopting new digital tools. What they need to think of, then, should be how to use digital tools to better their processes.
But not all in the sector face this problem. Some succeeded in their efforts by not rushing things up.
Then, another one is regulatory challenges. This is because it is different in each city, state, and region. So, it limits the options for utility providers.
Third, there are challenges with technology. True, this is an ace in Dx. But it can also be a challenge to pick and use the right one. Like smart metering, digital utility tracker, or whatnot.
So, what can the utility sector do to up their game at Dx?
Steps to Take for Utilities
As said, some utility providers rose high with their Dx. So, for those who are still looking for ways to reach the same, they need to keep in mind some points.
First, keep the focus on the core processes. They should not think that new techs can replace their traditional processes.
Instead, they should think of techs as an aid to better these existing processes. And unlock more of its potential.
Then, they need to keep in mind the three key areas of their business:
- customer interactions
- back office
Further, they need to focus on one area at a time. Doing Dx to a lot of areas at the same time will set them up for failure.
For example, they can first focus on how tech can aid in lessening power outages. Or making the outage restoration faster.
So, if they do this, the utility sector can catch up to faster runners in the Dx race. Let’s see what they can do in the future.