“The next ten years will be an era of fundamental change… Traditional utilities will shift from building asset-heavy infrastructures that provide stable and predictable electricity supply to managing flexible, decentralized energy solutions, while acquiring the skills to cope with the forces of digitization, electrification, energy transition, and decentralization.” (A.T. Kearney, 2018)
It’s no secret that digital transformation in all industries is the future of our society. In the energy utility industry, that will result in a significant shift not only in the way utilities operate, but also in the solutions they provide. The Energy Cloud future is likely to result in a complex ecosystem where utilities converge with parallel industries and customers in a way such that they provide multi-directional value, and parties interact and collaborate with each other (What’s Driving the Energy Cloud Transformation? Utility Dive, Green Mountain Power, and Guidehouse).
Digital transformation and Big Data will shape our energy future. A.T. Kearney predicts that in the future, as utilities collect increasingly more data from their own assets, public sources, and their customers’ behind-the-meter data, they will transition from simply being an electricity service provider to becoming “trusted energy advisors” to their customers. As utilities collect their customers’ behind-the-meter data, they will, in turn, be expected to assist their customers with developing their unique energy plan and transitioning to a more sustainable future. The purview of utilities is evolving rapidly, and as utilities collect more and more data, they will need data solutions that allow them to integrate public ISO, Middle Office, weather, internal, behind-the-meter, and IoT data.
As Gartner (2021) explains: “The validation, analysis, and transformation of data into insights and decision support entails aggregating disparate data from the field, from the front and back office, and even from situational intelligence and other external sources carried across networks and into utility operational systems”. Aggregating Big Data in such a way that it can be used to develop insight and make decisions will be a core competency of utilities going forward.
As we advance toward an Energy Cloud future, utilities will not only need to integrate the use of advanced analytics but also need to develop a strategy for transitioning to the use of Big Data solutions like Cloud and Lake technologies. Cloud and Lake technologies allow organizations to utilize data from many different sources to fuel advanced analytics and support the creation of innovative solutions of the future. To learn more about the differences between Cloud and Lake technologies, check out our blog Dive into the Lake, Fly to the Cloud - Approaching the Final Step in the Data Journey.
Utilities that embrace Big Data in their operations, and the development of their future solutions, will ultimately find themselves to be more successful than their competitors. Committing to digital transformation will result in more satisfied customers, innovation, and the development of new solutions and technologies. Utilities that fail to adapt and proactively embrace our digital energy future will be left behind.
Yes Energy has developed data solutions that will be integral to utilities and other nodal market participants’ future success. We offer both a Cloud and a Lake solution, both of which were developed with utilities in mind. These leading edge data solutions allow utilities and customers who need to utilize Big Data to integrate our comprehensive nodal market data (including Middle Office solutions) with internal data, behind-the-meter data, and third-party data. To read more about the different capabilities of the Cloud and Lake, check out our blog. We would also love to provide a complimentary consultation to discuss if the Cloud, Lake, or both, will be the optimal tool for you as you continue to develop your Digital Transformation strategy.