You push the screen of your phone or flip a switch, and the lights in your home turn on; gas is delivered as your stove lights up or furnace kicks on; water courses through the pipes as you run your shower.
There isn’t much thinking about the processes in the utility industry that seamlessly deliver these products and services.
What’s there to change when it comes to the utility industry?
Actually, almost everything changing!
No way, McFly: We now have more mobile devices than people
Imagine me telling you in the mid-90’s that you would be buying your groceries via a website and having them delivered to your home within hours, or that you’d be paying for items at the store with your mobile phone – the thing that replaced your Walkman (remember those?), your camera, your computer, your calendar, your rolodex, and so much more. You might have called me crazy, or worse.
Today there are more mobile devices in the world than people, with an estimated 8.6 billion devices versus 7.3 billion people. With an estimated 5.8 billion mobile users worldwide, that means almost 80% of the planet’s population are mobile, and they have an average of 1.5 devices each. Technology is digitally connecting the population, bringing new competition, improving efficiencies, and changing the way we do everything.
Now that’s digital transformation!
Digital energy network: Planning for clean, dependable, affordable electricity
The global population is projected to be ten billion people by 2050. Experts believe the demand for electricity, natural gas, and water will double or triple while vehicles and mass transit go electric. Though the future isn’t easily predictible, one thing is clear – the digital economy needs clean, dependable, and affordable utilities.
The digital energy network combines facets of power generation, transmission, distribution, and retail that embrace new business models and processes, and transforms work in a competitive and collaborative digital economy.
The utility industry is currently balancing the efficient operations of its existing infrastructure with the need to adapt to the volatile market environment. Leading utilities are re-evaluating their physical assets and customer relationships in order to meet the needs of a omnichannel, digitally driven world.
Reimagining the concept of the digital utility is crucial, and organizations continue to shape the digital energy network that complements the power supply system. Utilities, consumers, and non-utility players must harness digital innovation in order to anticipate real-time demand and supply, operate self-healing grids, and innovate the customer experience. When you consider new laws surrounding data collection, storage, and exchange, the need to operate as an omnichannel provider, and cloud innovations, you can see both opportunities and challenges.
The utility industry, like every other industry, must act now in order to survive in the future.