How Can CIOs Build a Robust Risk-Averse Utility

The utility industry is experiencing rapid change. Many companies are turning to digital technologies and a more innovative mindset to thrive in this data-driven era. The surge in demand for smart cities, electric mobility, and advanced technology is merging with the rising need for renewable energy sources and sustainability. More agile players will undoubtedly displace organizations that fail to seize the opportunities to evolve risk. So, how can chief information officers (CIOs) build a risk-averse utility company? In this article at Information Age, Aaron Hurst talks to Nigel Watson, CIO of Northumbrian Water, about how CIOs can succeed in the utility space.

The Challenges to Building a Risk-Averse Utility

  • Severe weather events and the cost of preparing for disruption are one of the biggest challenges in the industry. “Managing floods, leaks, sewers, water pollution, and expectations of millions of customers—just to name a few!” says Watson while pointing at the significant challenges.
  • Organizations must balance supply and demand following the global mandate to reduce carbon emissions and meet the soaring need for renewable energy sources. This is another challenge to building a risk-averse utility operation.
  • Today, many consumers focus on greenhouse gas reduction and opt out of utilizing the power generated from fossil fuels. Keeping up with customer preferences, and changing stakeholder priorities, decisions, and strategies are other obstacles.

Lessons from Leaders

Some leading utility companies are designing new operating ways to support customers, communities, stakeholders, and the environment. So, tech leaders and CIOs must take care of the following:

  • Develop new business models to replace the traditional cost-to-serve models, especially for non-commodity-based products.
  • Seek out new revenue generation sources with reduced marginal costs.
  • Capitalize on the opportunity for broader consumer interaction
  • Use data analytics to improve visibility throughout supply chains to minimize waste and reduce costs
  • Maintain stringent data privacy practices to prevent cyber threats.

Click to learn more about developing a solid risk-averse utility company

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