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Considering the business case for IoT in utilities

Considering the business case for IoT in utilities

The justification for a utility business to pursue an Internet of Things (IoT) strategy is strong. Examination of the soft or hard benefits support the case that a detailed investigation is warranted.


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A great deal of investment of intellect and effort has been directed to IoT and we continue to see momentum gaining across the broad IoT ecosystem and its applications. Successful commercial IoT deployments that deliver true value to businesses are growing in number. In the context of a technology-driven digital transformation, advances in IoT present power and utility businesses with vast opportunities worthy of consideration. With this in mind, it makes sense for organisations to include IoT within their technology mix, and in a manner that considers IoT to be an enabler of innovation across the entire organisation.

In this article we look at the key benefits and challenges the IoT ecosystem presents for power and utility organisations, including:

  • deferring or avoiding capital expenditure
  • risk mitigation
  • reductions in operating expenditure
  • gains in operational efficiency and excellence
  • new products and services
  • opportunities to empower customers, improve customer sentiment, and increase retention.

Key takeaways include:

  • Set IoT strategy from the top – Ensure that all necessary parts of the organisation participate to prevent IoT from remaining hidden within a silo, limiting its ability to deliver benefits.
  • Collaborate – Bring together internal cross-functional teams to pursue broad organisational benefits. Work with trusted partners to capitalise on their strengths.
  • Build capability – New skills will be necessary both in terms of new technologies and in terms of the data and information that will be generated through IoT.
  • Ecosystem – A successful IoT strategy requires a rich ecosystem of IoT innovators and technologies.
  • Undertake proofs of concept – These should be the training ground for your teams to be brave and to innovate, and from which learnings will later contribute to developing the business case.
  • Develop your economic model and business case – This will be the opportunity to objectively justify where and how IoT should be used within the organisation, appropriately balancing costs and effort against the benefits.

© 2020 KPMG, an Australian partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”) is a Swiss entity. Member firms of the KPMG network of independent firms are affiliated with KPMG International. KPMG International provides no client services. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm.

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