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Delivering Better Experiences to Modern Utility Customers
By Utilities Tech Outlook | Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Today, utility customers expect more than just reliable electricity service. They are progressively interested in knowing their consumption of energy, reducing their use, accessing new products and services, and saving the environment. Simultaneously, customers have come to expect from utilities higher-level service experiences and extended capabilities. They become more proactive, they demand more choices, and they expect more personalized services.
The truth for most utilities is that they continue to make significant efforts to support existing business models by enabling basic capabilities. Efforts usually involve digitalizing their core interactions and transactions (billing, new connections, interruptions), limiting the number of channels of communication and boosting the use of these expanded capabilities. It is important to take decisive action and commit to lasting change in order for a utility to transform into a truly digital organization.
A utility must carry out an honest and objective evaluation of its capabilities and maturity and how far it will want to go in the future and can go realistically. This involves comprehending existing digital capabilities, desired implementation timeline, level of senior management commitment, and regulatory and economic factors or constraints. It also implies defining the vision and the driving forces behind this important business change.
A new organizational structure is essential when changing the way business is conducted to implement digital solutions properly. A Digital Operating Model (DOM) design allows operations to move to an agile model that promotes collaboration between stakeholders and smoothly integrates innovations into business operations to strengthen products and services. It can be redirected through a specified process by shifting how the business communicates and works. By motivating proper representation of stakeholders and ensuring that the utility can adapt to the accelerating technology landscape, the utility will be able to exceed its quality of service to customers.
Struggles will arise along the way, but their rate of organizational self - awareness and stakeholder orientation will be the key differentiator between the best digital utilities from all the others. In order to create clear and transparent processes, governance, communication channels, and decision-making processes in the utility, a digital operating model that brings together IT and business groups is essential. In the end, the utility will always put the customer first, becoming a business that enforces innovative solutions that best serve them.