Strategies for surviving the industry’s transition.
Robert Spencer is a principal with Change Consulting Associates, and Bernie Bujnowski is a principal with BJB Consulting.
For all the possible smart-grid benefits to be realized, utilities must undertake significant changes. The smart grid will drive a shift from a predominantly asset focus to a more nuanced operating model where the customer figures more prominently. This requires greater inventiveness and ease with change than utilities traditionally have demonstrated.
Utilities wanting to exploit the potential of the smart grid to create new sources of revenue and to improve operations need to overcome three specific barriers. They need to be able to integrate information and operations in different ways, demonstrate an ability to be more adaptable, and modify some cultural tendencies.
This requires significant transformation, but there are models from successful utility change programs that can be leveraged. Utility companies face barriers in these endeavors, but there are actions they can take that have proven successful. In the end, however, the question utilities will need to answer is whether they will serve the new market they are creating with smart grids or defer to other, more nimble organizations.