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Digital disruption and transformation in utilities

Published on 01 Oct 2019

The utility sector, in certain cases, has enjoyed a low level of competition. Even so, it has not been immune to disruption, digital or otherwise. Multiple disruptive forces have resulted in alternative products and services, new market entrants and shifting customer expectations.   

Utilities must embrace digital transformation and enhance CX in order to attract and retain customers in the new landscape.

In this Reading Room, we’ve selected articles that range from a basic overview of digital transformation to an in-depth look at how Australian utilities are faring in the face of rapid disruption. 

We end off with a comment from our digital transformation expert, Mia Papanicolaou. 

How digital disruption is transforming the utilities industry

If you want a simple read about digital transformation in utilities – this is it! The article highlights five key elements of digital transformation that have brought positive change in the sector. This includes smart meters, Internet of Things, smart grids and demand management. Especially relevant is the section on big data analytics – using big data to continually improve services and thereby enhance the customer experience (CX).

  • Publisher: Certus
  • Access: Public
  • Download: None 

The 6 priorities for utility CIOs in the age of digital utilities

Although directed at utility CIOs, this article is a valuable read for anyone involved in digital transformation. The six priorities it tackles, include: employing the right people; introducing agile workflows; and adopting a bimodal IT approach. 

The most relevant to CX, however, are the priorities which deal with digital engagement. The author talks about the challenge of putting digital at the core of the company’s DNA and advises utilities to take a ‘best of breed’ approach to digital technologies. 

Utilities are being disrupted. Can the industry keep up?

This article looks at how Australia’s utilities sector is faring in the face of rapid disruption. An important point is made: “digital initiatives to improve operations do not equal digital transformation”. The article goes on to say that utilities have to rethink their business model and put the customer at the center of designing their future value proposition. It gives use cases of how technologies, such as block-chain, are being deployed and how this continues to blur the lines between generator and consumer.

  • Publisher: Which-50
  • Access: Public
  • Download: None 

A comment from our utilities CX expert:

“Customer lifetime value is something utilities need to actively manage. To maximize the value of a customer, utilities need to understand what their customers really want and map their strategy accordingly.

It’s a fact that customers expect to engage digitally with their utility, just like they do when interacting with other service companies. Therefore, utilities must embrace digital transformation in order to improve relationships and increase engagement or risk losing their customers. 

Customer retention is crucial to realizing lifetime value, and CX has a large influence on whether a customer will stay with a provider when there are viable alternatives.”

Mia Papanicolaou

COO, The Americas

Need help driving your utility’s digital transformation efforts to achieve increased customer engagement and an enhanced CX?

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Mia Papanicolaou

Mia Papanicolaou

Vice President, General Manager at Aspire CCS

Mia heads up Aspire CCS in the US, working with companies to provide strategy and advice and is a regular speaker on digital customer communication, digital maturity and improving the customer experience.

Mia has been named as an email marketing influencer multiple times and is passionate about helping organizations improve their digital communication maturity.

Prior to joining Aspire CCS, she worked at Striata for 15 years in South Africa, the UK and then settled in the US as the COO of the company, after which she headed up consulting at Doxim Striata.

Read more of Mia's blog posts here or connect with her on the following social channels: