How Technology is Evolving in the Utilities Industry

By Rob Marshall

Utilities have always invested heavily in technology and digital innovation wanting to be ahead of their competitors and top of the leaderboards however it probably goes un-recognised.  There is still a lot of technology to be discovered including IoT (Internet of Things), AI (Artificial Intelligence) and AR (Augmented Reality).

We are in an age when technology enables us to pay for items using our Smartphones and Smartwatches, Drones are delivering our parcels and soon cars drive without drivers.  The rate of change even over the past decade has surpassed expectations.

Utility companies are on a constant quest to improve safety, efficiencies and reduce human errors in an increasing complex and regulated sector.  Utility companies are on the hunt for new tools and new technologies to help them achieve this, embracing innovation and technology to help drive their business and the sector forward.

The workforce (Managers, Office staff and Field Operatives) are often the downfall for not succeeding with new technology and innovation.  People are not ready for change and they may feel they are at risk.  Quite often the new technology is ready to be used however there is no buy-in from Senior Executives and Management, they are nervous of something new.

Traditional technology hasn’t got to grips with how the workforce work and their day-to-day duties.  For the sector to advance, there needs to be a change in approach; working alongside key people who understand the work, processes, outputs and how technology can be used to make their work easier and efficient.  When one company implements new technology and innovation, others follow.  They realise it is not so scary, and it can work.

Technology will continue to have an impact on the utilities sector, bringing better and safer ways of working along with improving efficiencies.  As utility companies continue to embrace technology and innovation to their business, they will unlock new opportunities.  These opportunities not only increase revenue, but it also ensures the entire service for the customer journey delivers a new business model to add value to their services.

Utility companies have taken steps to invest in these new technologies and IoT however there is more which can be done.  It is through technology that utilities will evolve and will help build a connected infrastructure, which in turn drives operational excellence and secure its future.

Taking the time and investment in innovation, the utilities sector can transform itself to meet the digital 21st century. 

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