Australian utilities are increasingly deploying new technologies, especially data analytics and machine learning, as they undergo large-scale digital transformations, according to a new research report published by Information Services Group (ISG).
The 2023 ISG Provider Lens Power and Utilities — Services and Solutions report finds utilities are now making investments and engaging with provider partners to deploy more intelligent, data-driven systems in response to changing regulations, customer expectations and market needs.
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New technology investments in the industry span a wide range of initiatives, the report says. Many utilities are increasing automation, taking a holistic business process management (BPM) approach to streamlining operations. They are making substantial investments in cloud infrastructure to replace legacy in-house systems and focus on their core competencies. Grid modernisation, aimed at improved resilience, security and sustainability, is a major priority.
Adapting to these changes while maintaining legacy IT infrastructure has led to increasing complexity, forcing utilities to invest in IoT systems and integrated, cloud-based enterprise asset management, ISG finds. This transformation makes more data available to generate valuable insights through machine learning-powered analytics, often with help from service providers.
Further heightening the pressure, increasingly connected systems in Australian power grids have broadened the scope of potential cyberattacks, making it harder for utilities to manage risks, the report says. New regulations require critical infrastructure companies to strengthen cybersecurity.
“Even a relatively small cyberattack on a utility can threaten social and financial stability,” ISG Provider Lens Research partner Jan Erik Aase says.
“Experienced service providers are helping Australian utilities overcome a cybersecurity skills shortage to build essential protections.”
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The report also explores other trends in the Australian power and utilities industry, including the growing deployment of microgrids in remote regions and the gradual transition to electric vehicles.
The 2023 ISG Provider Lens Power and Utilities — Services and Solutions report for Australia evaluates the capabilities of 30 providers across five quadrants: Intelligent Business Process Management Systems (iBPMS), Next-Gen IT Services, Grid Modernisation, Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) and Customer Information Systems (CIS) and Customer Experience (CX).