Utilities are accelerating their move to the cloud, with a majority (71%) now using cloud software, up from just 45% three years ago, according to a new report from Oracle.
The survey of more than 150 global utility leaders by research firm Zpryme found that a desire to improve the customer experience was the top motivator. Customers are increasingly looking for more information regarding their overall utility usage and bill and how to lessen the impact of both – and they expect this to be delivered with the high level of service and personalisation offered in sectors such as retail and banking. Utilities see cloud technologies as a means to provide the speed and control to meet these customer expectations, Oracle explained.
Another key driver is the need to manage the growing pool of data coming from smart meters, IoT sensors, customers’ home energy devices and other sources. Utilities are investing in tools that can capture and analyse grid edge, supply chain and customer data quickly, and they hope to use the technological flexibility provided by cloud computing to innovate by using data to solve business problems from grid optimisation to managing distributed energy resources.
“Utilities are seeing the impact that digital transformation is having on their business model,” said Jason Rodriguez, CEO of Zpryme. “The challenge is so much greater than simply capturing millions of disparate data points. Utilities need IT tools to manage and drive better business decisions and cloud computing provides the agility to more effectively integrate data predictively use it.”
The biggest barrier to utilities using or expanding cloud computing is concerns about security (85%) and privacy (81%). However, these concerns centre on the growing barrage of increasingly sophisticated cybersecurity threats rather than the vulnerability of cloud computing technology itself.
Download your free copy of our Next-generation connectivity report to learn more about the impact of next-generation internet connectivity on energy & utilities and other sectors.