Innovation in Utility: Driving the Industry Beyond Digital Transformation

Advances in technology are transforming businesses and their operating models and are blurring the lines between industries, stirring new possibilities. In the Utility sector, companies need to innovate and make over their business to handle the unprecedented disruption by embracing digital technologies. They have the opportunity to advance processes and technologies and enhance customer service by delivering a more personalised experience, lower costs and self-service solutions in the chorus.

The industry currently is facing extreme competition from other service providers and witnessing the evolution of new, emerging technologies and innovative products. Growing customer expectations also are forcing the industry to innovate to become more customer-centric.

Thus, to meet rapidly changing customer expectations and move forward their digital transformation strategies, utility companies are started to leverage smart meter data by building their Edge and IoT infrastructure. They are also adding distributed AI analytical capabilities to support a wide range of business goals with new insights, including enhancing efficiency and reliability, bolstering safety, delivering affordable services, and ultimately improving customer satisfaction.

To creating new services, and opportunities, leaders are also making use of IoT data and distributed analytics to diversify their business models.

Innovation at the Edge 

In the past, organizations have maintained a data lake and applied machine learning on consolidated data sets. However, this methodology required shifting all data to one location for analysis, but it was no longer efficient with the increased volume and velocity of smart meter data. Instead, companies are building a distributed AI capability where data is not required to relocate back to a central location each time it needs to be processed. And for this, AI at the Edge is coupled with machine learning at the core.

This distributed analytics minimizes time-to-insight, delivers a robust relentless learning capability, and provides previously not viable opportunities to spot anomalies and potential threats.

Leveraging More Effective Approach

Today, the utility industry is undergoing new opportunities to interact with cutting-edge technology, markets, and customers and determine how and what services to offer. Most organizations are leveraging more proactive maintenance with computer vision on drones that inspect assets and monitor facilities.

So, a technology-led approach to innovation enables business leaders to have the capability and environment to experiment with new business models, experiences, and ideas in a situation that is not held back by everyday business.

Takeaways for the Industry Leaders

To drive innovation and go beyond the digital transformation, utility companies need to be focused on advancing operational efficiency, productivity, and reliability. And to do so, they need first to recognize that transformation will be significant, substantial, and long term and will not end soon.

Artificial intelligence and automation are also the major key factors that can aide the sector to innovate and stay ahead of the innovation curve. So, it is indispensable for organizations to build innovation capabilities that allow it to design, test, and iterate each concept promptly through to launch. And it needs to develop or acquire new technology through various means.