5 New Year’s Resolutions for Utilities

Blog posts, Events

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions for 2019?

If you haven’t decided on yours yet, here are some suggestions to help your utility have a productive 2019.

1. Be healthier and Lose weight

    Shed the load of legacy systems!

    Legacy systems are critical to utility companies, but also a burden, making your plans for digital transformation more difficult. Often these legacy systems are costly to maintain and the data they hold is difficult to integrate with newer systems. In a recent survey of IT decision makers, 90% of respondents agreed that older systems were difficult to integrate with newer applications, introduced as part of a digital transformation project.

    We all know how difficult (and unhealthy) it is to shed weight quickly. In an ideal world, these legacy systems would be upgraded to shiny new agile replacements, making data integration more straightforward and leading to more innovative and successful utility companies.

    Meanwhile, back in the real world, upgrading legacy systems in the traditional way with a customized solution is costly and time consuming.

    Greenbird’s Utilihive platform offers a solution to these challenges by delivering prebuilt support for data flows and integration to legacy systems that handles data from IoT devices, smart meters, and other traditional enterprise data.

    2. Become More Active

      Get moving in 2019!

      We want to help you start moving at a faster rate. It’s not news that the energy sector is facing challenges from new, innovative challenger companies. These companies are unhampered by legacy systems – they are agile and fast-moving, making the most of emerging technologies.

      Established utilities must develop an agile, lean startup mindset to keep pace in this fast-moving environment. What do we mean by this? It means rolling out new services on a small-scale to find out whether they work or are even wanted by customers. Not only do companies discover whether a new product is working without months of research, customers are offered new services they find useful.

      One of the first steps is for you and your organization to become a data-driven entity. Once you can access all the data produced throughout the value chain, you are better placed to discover new and innovative ideas. DSOs must transform from commoditized grid operators to platformed digital utilities delivering data-driven, smart energy services. We are here to enable and help coach you to become a leaner and more agile self.

      3. Stop wasting money

        Many utilities are still wasting enormous amounts of time and resources in their approach to systems integration projects.

        The traditional system integration approach involves acquiring middleware and engaging with a system integrator to build a customized solution with costly and high-risk integration projects. What’s more, it is very common for projects like these to suffer from long delays, budget overruns and outcomes that do not meet expectations. And once completed, they tend to be difficult to operate, manage and maintain. Utilities are not only wasting money, they are missing out on the potential for scalability and innovation.

        We thought there had to be an easier, quicker and less expensive method of digital integration and this is how Utilihive came about. We realized that utilities would benefit from acquiring system integration as a service with out-of-the-box data flows and connectors for digital utilities.

        4. Focus on Self-Development

          The rate of technological change is so fast, lifelong learning is now essential. We humans must keep learning new skills to ensure we keep pace with the world and can derive benefit from the change technology brings. This is especially important in a rapidly changing sector such as energy. For those working in this industry, learning new technological skills is not only essential on a personal level, it has the added effect of helping to accelerate the energy revolution.

          The Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud, Big Data, AI, Machine Learning, Blockchain – emerging technologies are amazing opportunities for creating value and realizing new savings. As a leader and enabler, driving digital transformation, it is important to align the potential these technologies have with your company strategies and business goals.

          Start with small projects to begin with, be sure of the problem the project is trying to solve and know how you will evaluate its success (or of course, embrace failure and learn from it).

          What all these emerging technologies have in common is the reliance on data from a growing number of sources. The benefits of AI and more specifically, machine learning, can only be realized if data can be accessed and the platform that makes the data flow is designed for the volume, variety and veracity of data that drives the next generation of advanced analytics and customer-centric applications.

          5. Make new friends

            Established utilities are used to being self-sufficient. This is changing. It will become increasingly important for you to forge new alliances with suppliers and emerging technology companies, working as part of an ecosystem that fosters innovation. In fact, established utilities and new startups make great partners. Startups bring fresh ideas, innovative services, knowledge of emerging technologies and a lean startup mindset. You bring established systems and the resources to make these ideas come to life at scale to serve your customers. There is no point in reinventing the wheel, so establishing partnerships is the only way to accelerate innovation and move at the same rate of change as your competitors.

            According to a recent survey, 32% of people don’t intend to make any New Year’s resolutions at all. With the constant and exciting changes that are happening in the energy sector, this is not an option for utilities.

            Please share your New Year’s resolution with us and let us know how we can help you achieve them.

            Happy New Year from all at Greenbird

            making data fly in 2019!