Eight key ‘plays’ to alter how work is managed and performed.
Greg Bolino is managing director within Accenture’s Strategy for the Utilities industry group. Jack Azagury is global managing director for Accenture Smart Grid Services.
These may not seem like the best of times for electric utilities. Market conditions are difficult. The centralized grid model is challenged by distributed generation. Weather events have put pressure on reliability. Regulators continue to squeeze allowed returns, even while investor expectations have fallen - both for growth in earnings and for return on investment.
An equally daunting challenge will come in meeting customer expectations. Customers today are accustomed to the sorts of high-quality digital experiences they've seen through their interactions with providers in other industries. By contrast, they have little trust in their utility companies. And at the same time, powerful, low-cost technologies such as mobile and the cloud, and growth in new energy technologies, make market entry easier for new competitors.
Utility executives are finding, however, that while digital poses a challenge, it also presents a massive opportunity. Adoption of digital capabilities - mobility, analytics, cloud, social media, e-commerce and connected devices - can improve performance across the entire utility value chain. It can bolster operating performance and open opportunities for growth of new services and new business models.