Utility firms embrace Internet of Things

Water and electricity companies are embracing the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and wearable technology, according to a new report.

The report by Fujitsu Technology shows nearly three quarters (70%) of utility bosses believe technology will help us overcome many of the socio-economic challenges we face today.

And the same leaders say their companies will implement the Internet of Things (IoT) (42%), wearable technology (40%) and artificial intelligence (AI) (40%) in the next 12 months.

A resounding 94% of leaders agree technology is driving change in their organisations, and 84% are positive about that change.

Utilities leaders rank the top benefits as improving operational efficiency (48%), boosting employee productivity (41%) and bringing new products/services to market more quickly.

But despite the upgrades that technology has made in the sector – whether it be smart homes, meters or grids – just 53% of the public agree that utilities have been dramatically changed by technology.

‘There is a clear recognition among sector leaders that – as technology has been embraced in infrastructure, management and customer engagement – it has had a huge impact on the sector,’ said Graeme Wright, chief technology officer for manufacturing, utilities, and services at Fujitsu UK.

‘It must not stop here, however, so the sector should be pleased with the continued technology-driven approach it is taking with new services – such as IoT and AI. To ensure these make a real difference, utilities companies must invest in technology and people to build a strong platform for long-term success.’

Despite the industry being a leader in technology, less than one in five (17%) of the public listed utilities as the top sector they’d like to see technological advances in.

‘While the public may not believe the sector is seeing much with technology, it is extremely encouraging to see the sector leaders be so forward-thinking in their approach to digital transformation,’ added Wright.

‘We must now pull together and ensure we are moving ahead responsibly. With 75% of utilities leaders believing their employees have the right skills to take advantage of new technology, there is a strong base to start from.

‘It is crucial we work to ensure this number rises and that workers are trained and reskilled in new technologies – this is the only way organisations can reap the rewards of an increasingly digital world.’

To read the full report, click here:

Jamie Hailstone

Jamie Hailstone

journalist

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