Energy & Utilities
The Energy and Utilities sector continues to face increasing regulation, public scrutiny, tougher competition, as well as contending with fluctuating input costs, increasing prices and disruptive technology.
These challenges have been further compounded by the continued uncertainty caused by Brexit. The precise outcome of the Brexit deal will directly impact the Energy sector in terms of whether the UK retains its membership of the Internal Energy Market (IEM) and the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) and whether or not it will continue to have access to the European Investment Bank (EIB) and EU R&D funds. All this uncertainty is certainly acting as an investment suppressant which could certainly pose a long-term threat.
What is clear is that the UK energy sector needs to become more competitive over the long term. This is something echoed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) whose Industrial Strategy has mandated a clear focus on innovation, business, competitiveness, energy and decarbonisation. The UK needs secure, affordable and low carbon energy, while having to integrate increasing volumes of renewables into the electricity system and handle potentially disruptive technologies.
Indeed, technology has had an enormous impact on the Energy and Utilities market. The Internet of Things (IOT) means that customers, employees and assets are becoming increasingly connected. The role of Automation is constantly expanding which is having an impact on the skills required, the work the Utility companies do, and the way that they do it.
It is also becoming more challenging to attract staff with the right skills and expertise. If Energy & Utility companies are going to be successful with their recruitment and retention, they are going to need to embrace the digital disruption, look beyond the traditional workforce engagement and culture, and take a more integrated view, giving thought to the end-to-end employee experience. In this digital age, organisational structures will need to become significantly more flexible if companies are to be truly successful in attracting, developing and engaging their workforce.
Customers are becoming increasingly empowered within the Energy market which is being driven by connected technology, micro-generation and advances in energy storage. The ‘connected home’ is now no longer just a concept but a reality. The only thing holding back serious market penetration is cost, or more importantly the consumer’s perception of value. The providers are yet to make a compelling case for consumers to invest, but it’s just a matter of time.
The question is who will seize the new opportunities first? Success in the longer term will depend on an Energy company’s ability to adapt to this new digitised world ensuring they remain relevant to the customer – disrupt or be disrupted!
Today’s Energy and Utility companies are under huge pressure to do more with less, enhance customer service, improve the uptime of assets, and increase predictability of performance. This means they need to increasingly focus on driving out inefficiencies by changing ways of working and focusing on being more customer centric. They need to be more adaptive and flexible to meet changes in demand and challenges in the supply chain.
To be better equipped to do this Utility companies need a detailed, end-to-end view of their asset portfolio, without one, achieving value for money across the asset lifecycle is unlikely. Furthermore, the ability to plan and be forward thinking is seriously impaired as it is hard for them to predict when assets may fail. The result is reactive maintenance which has a greater negative impact on customers and is costlier and more disruptive.
Now is the time for companies to take a closer look at operations – workforce models, supply chain – and consider how they can be optimised. We can help you to exploit the potential of real-time business intelligence through the use of Data Analytics and Digitalisation as IT and engineering converge.
Let our Advisors use their domain knowledge and experience to help you to maintain profit levels through identifying and delivering improvements to your IT and business operations. We will help you to become more efficient and effective and able to adjust to the changing environment flexing to meet the demand. Talk to us.