Operational priorities, technology investments, business performance, cloud and data security, diversity and inclusion in Power & Utilities

As an essential sector, power and utilities companies keep the lights and heat on and our phones and internet connections running. Nevertheless, there are challenges this industry must navigate. 

From a technology perspective, the innovation imperative is centered around the asset: physical assets need to be digitized, and digital assets need to be monetized—such as digital twin technology that replicates power plant and transmission-distribution equipment and processes in a virtual environment to model scenarios that reduce CAPEX or OPEX.

Highlights

  • Top IT investment areas – Security and privacy, operations and production, and Infrastructure/cloud headed the list. Power and utilities organizations are largely looking to increase automation (73 percent) and invest in infrastructure/cloud (35 percent) to meet their strategic goals in the new reality.
  • Skills shortages are a challenge – Cyber security is the number one shortage for the power and utilities industry, but in second place comes simply those with expertise in ‘IT strategy’ – indicating the recognition that a broader IT transformation of the business is at hand. One point of encouragement is that over half (53 percent) of CIOs in the power and utilities sector believe that COVID-19 has increased the sense of inclusivity within the IT team.
  • Expanding and integrating data repositories is a top priority – CIOs in the power and utilities sector see expanding and integrating data repositories as their number one requirement, closely followed by increasing data literacy and scaling data analytics skills.
  • Cyber security is an increasing focus – More than four in ten organizations overall have experienced an increase in cyber security incidents – and in the power and utilities sector this is appreciably higher, at 50 percent. Spear-phishing (76 percent) and malware attacks (67 percent) have seen the largest rises.

 

What now?

COVID-19 has changed the landscape. With technology more important than ever to organizations’ ability to survive and thrive, the opportunity has never been greater for CIOs to work as strategic partners with the business. Seven in ten IT leaders report increased collaboration between the business and technology teams – this relationship is something that CIOs must build on to ensure their organization’s digital transformation success.

For CIOs in the Power & Utilities industry, digital transformation must now be accelerated. Being so based around physical products and processes, the sector has lagged somewhat compared to other industries in terms of IT enablement. Now, with operational efficiency gains critical, the technology function has the opportunity to prove its strategic value and help the business leverage the power of IT to lift processes and performance across the organization.

How KPMG can help

KPMG firms are some of the largest providers of services to banking & capital markets organizations globally, we take a boutique approach to client issues with a focus on flexibility, adaptability, and innovation. We recognize that there are many on-ramps to supporting IT transformation and we’ve tailored our services accordingly:

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