The utility sector is undergoing a phase of historical transformation with the convergence of smart energy technologies, evolving regulatory frameworks, empowered customers, proliferation of distributed energy resources including rooftop solar, and new non-traditional entrants into the industry competing across the traditional utility value chain.
IDC Energy Insights and Capgemini recently explored the current situation of utilities in North America and Europe and the implications of the situation for the future success of utilities. It’s a vast field, with entities including regulated and unregulated divisions of the utility parent company; generation, transmission, distribution, and retail; and investor-owned, government-owned and cooperative organizations.
In a recent article I wrote with IDC Energy Insights and two other industry experts, we outline six potential actions that utilities can take to proactively start changing as opposed to waiting around for these potential threats to their business to catch up to them. These actions include:
- Speed up
- Create an ecosystem for innovation
- Revisit the business model
- Rethink regulations
- Make digital transformation part of the business agenda
- Get third-party help for innovation
While all of these actions can make an impact, of great significance to Capgemini and our clients is innovation and digital transformation. I personally had the opportunity (along with a team of Capgemini thought leaders) to visit with one of the largest utilities in the country to discuss innovation – what leading innovators in many industries are doing to change the game for their businesses and more importantly, their customers.
Capgemini has carefully analyzed and invested the development of new digital transformation services to support our clients with this changing landscape. We have worked closely with our clients and MIT to understand the drivers and solutions needed to succeed in this changing environment.
Innovation is a fundamental part of our core business, and we have recently launched our Applied Innovation Exchange to devise, deploy and sustain innovation, leveraging Capgemini’s wide-ranging global innovation ecosystem and our network of global innovation labs. This will continue to be an area for utilities to progress and begin to push the boundaries of their traditional business models.