The Move from Connected to Intelligent

Without clear technical, analytics and technology adoption strategies in place, utilities will not operate intelligently.
Published: Thu 30 Jan 2014

A great deal needs to happen before a utility can transform from a mere connected entity to one that operates more intelligently. A successful transformation will promise a great number of benefits, including increased productivity, improved profitability and sustainability.

The utility is receiving an increasing amount of data but what they do with this data is the key issue. A connected enterprise would store the data and do nothing with it, but a truly intelligent enterprise will take that data and turn it into something useful. The analysis of this information becomes a useful business tool as an enterprise gains a greater insight into their business activities and their customers’ needs. This increased awareness is what helps an enterprise run more intelligently.

But first, the enterprise must undertake a technical, analytical and company adoption:

Technical Transformation

This is potentially the costly part as enterprises may need to upgrade or replace an entire system. The most effective tools and applications must be in place so that every department can operate effectively in order to deliver the expected results. It is essential that these tools support the management of structured and unstructured data from the various sources across the enterprise. The entire company must adopt open IT standards as this will only enhance and increase connectivity and interoperability.

Many companies are opting for the cloud-based solution as it helps companies to store significantly large volumes of data which is always accessible.

Analysis

But, the mere assimilation of data is not going to help the company to move forward towards operating intelligently. Without properly analysing the data, the company will not achieve a greater insight and knowledge about their operations. Since there are numerous ways in which to analyse data, companies needs to create teams that will carry out the job. This must obviously be done in accordance with the company’s operating goals and existing market conditions. This leads to cultural transformation.

Adoption Barriers

The whole company needs to be on board with the adoption of the technology and the strategies gained from the new data as a result. Some staff members may see this as a way of management keeping an eye on their performance levels but, it is actually a tool to help them succeed in their jobs and improve customer satisfaction.

Senior management support is essential and they should be talking about this transformation to “intelligent company” through their regular communications. This regular communication and training strategies is what’s going to make the transformation smooth. If the transformation does not feature as the central part of the company’s operations, strategies will fall flat. All departments must be fully engaged for this to really take off.

Technical, analytical and adoption strategies must be integrated in order for the transformation to be successful. Focusing on these three strategies, the utility will begin to move from a connected enterprise to one that is truly intelligent.