A behind-the-scenes look at what industry influencers are saying.
Richard Charles is a senior vice president at Alliance Data.
Natural disasters and political events in 2005 pushed the discussion of outsourcing into the pages of many mainstream business and financial publications. Why the sudden interest?
Last year was pivotal for the utility outsourcing community. Outsourcing evolved from intimate discussions in utility boardrooms to front-page news for many mainstream business and financial publications. Why the sudden interest?
Start with the industry’s headline-making contracts. NiSource and IBM proved that the TXU/CapGemini outsourcing deal of 2004 was not a fluke event. The lone major industry that until recently had ignored broad-scale outsourcing suddenly was forced to confront the issues of outsourcing and even offshoring to India and elsewhere.
In addition, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita raised another pressing set of questions. What happens when infrastructure is at risk or barely functional in times of natural disasters? What are a utility’s options for backup and redundancy?
Last, there was the Energy Policy Act of 2005. With it came increased relevance of smart metering. As this legislation takes hold, utilities will need to better manage, monitor, and bill their customers. The practice of simply deferring technology upgrades may no longer be tenable.