Asia Pacific Utilities Must Transform to Realize the Value of their Data
According to latest report IDC MaturityScape Benchmark: Digital Transformation in Utilities in Asia/Pacific (Excluding Japan), distinguishing factor between utility companies that thrives and those simply who survive in the Asia Pacific region excluding Japan (APeJ) lie on their data management strategy. IDC Energy Insights released a report that discusses the impact of information is altering the future of the utilities sector within the region. The report highlights that the ability of a utility company to create value out of process and ecosystem data decides if it is considered a disruptor or one among the followers.
Different market dynamics drive businesses across the region. Governing policies, market structure and customer expectations vary from one market to the next, making the development of consistent operating models challenging. Economies are starkly contrasting. Across the region, IDC sees two extremes in its five-stage digital transformation (or DX) maturity framework. On one side, 88% of utility companies are at the early stages which IDC refers to as digital resisters and explorers. They are wary and have yet to tap into the power of DX. On the other hand of the spectrum, there are 4% of companies who are considered to be game-changers – companies who are opting to use technology to disrupt the marketplace.
As disruptors move forward, they are leaving behind a void that developing companies need to fill. The companies that are merely surviving this disruption are pushed to duplicate the success of those that are thriving in this situation. As DX progresses, companies on the lower end of the scale need to evaluate the impact on their environment and either transform or perish.
One way they can achieve this is through robust data mining. Data helps build a responsive operational environment that evolves continuously through an active feedback system. This brings about a paradigm shift in how the utility business is run in the future. Asia/Pacific utility companies, irrespective of where they lie on the maturity framework, have miles to go in developing the skills needed to convert data into information effective enough to create more than just a ripple in the ocean.
Just having operational analytics and making sporadic use of technologies like cloud and mobility is not sufficient. Similarly, storing and managing data in only the basic way possible does not make the grade. Utilities must take a step back and visualise where the company wants to be, then use this vision to devise a strategy across data, IT and operations. Creating an agile and interconnected web of a well thought out strategy to manage data and technology decisions made in tandem with operations will create an atmosphere fortified with value, insight and action.