The handling of qualitatively prepared mass data is becoming a core competency in the energy market. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, smart meters and electronic mobility solutions cannot be used efficiently without an intelligent utilities business platform. Extensive services and products based on intelligent control and energy-related mass data will emerge in the coming years, especially at the intersection of decentralized power generation and individual consumption.

Local governments will be able to enjoy new digital experiences as these platforms make it easy for energy service providers to add valuable services for them. City governments can take advantage of new services — as well as existing services that have been digitalized — to gain access to important data and benefit from intelligent energy solutions that can be redistributed with a resale license. Applications that give municipalities and city councils insight into the efficiency (energy consumption, maintenance, status and more) of sensor-equipped public lighting systems and more are no longer dreams of the future.

Digital apps and add-ons that save end customers’ time and money or that are tailored to their lifestyles will also form an essential part of the services offered by digital energy service providers. Consumers may be asked for personal data to gain access to some of these services. It’s up to them to decide whether providing that information is worth making the trade for services that, for example, provide advance notice that a smart household appliance is in danger of breaking down.

Utility business platforms expand horizons

If utilities want to accelerate their transition to becoming technology companies and achieve the goals of energy system transformation, they must be quick to equip the majority of the population — namely end-consumers — with smart metering systems. Only then will utilities have the data and information they need to guarantee a stable power grid to reliably support new services, even in the face of a disaster that can significantly change energy-usage patterns.

A cloud-based data aggregation and digital management utilities business platform can enable the rapid development of digital applications and workflows for the energy and utilities sector. For example, DXC Technology’s solution forms the backbone for digital applications by supporting automatic data retrieval with standardized back-end interfaces. It enables utilities to avoid data silos and reduces complexity by analyzing, structuring and consolidating data so that content can be optimally used in new digital applications.

In addition, this platform supports collaboration with partners. Existing applications can be consolidated and business processes harmonized so that new applications can be generated for the third-party market. Intelligent interfaces facilitate partner cooperation and also help get valuable information (electricity efficiency, tariff changes, bonus programs) to customers, thus increasing satisfaction and loyalty.

Whatever approach energy service providers take to become digital utilities, it’s critical that they take steps soon.