As has commonly been the case, the utilities industry hasn’t been immune to the effects of COVID-19 and the need to accelerate digital transformation initiatives to remain effective throughout the pandemic. This applies not only in the case of internal processes to drive efficiencies and increase worker safety, but also in terms of cyber security of systems with more and more people working from their home offices.
Although the utilities industry is traditionally known for moving slowly in tech adoption, that is no longer an option with the need to enable smart infrastructure to ensure they are providing the best possible products for their customers and providing a safe work environment for their employees. To support this need to hurry along the tech adoption process, studies have found that the top priorities utilities companies are focusing on adopting emerging technologies, with specific focus on cost optimization, automating production processes, infrastructure management and disaster management.
The best approach to a lot of these key focuses is the adoption of new technology, especially in the IoT space. IoT adoption is giving organisations access to enormous amounts of data on consumer and usage patterns that can be used to make resource allocation more efficient. IoT is also being used for predictive maintenance and in enhancing employee safety. Smart sensors can monitor vibrations, temperature and moisture, and detect abnormal behaviours in equipment – helping field workers to make maintenance decisions in real-time, enhancing their safety.
Additionally, the industry is fast realising the power of having an interconnected system that connects industry workers to customers to head offices.
In short, COVID-19 has really seen the need for the utilities industry to accelerate their digital transformation strategies by embracing IoT, smarter cyber security and more. This revitalisation of the utilities industry will be interesting to watch to see how the industry can adapt and evolve as a consequence of the pandemic.