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Key industry players meet to examine digital utilities challenges & opportunities in London

Digital Utilities Europe 2017 took place in the Millennium Gloucester Hotel, London. This saw the collection of a group of innovative minds discussing the problems and opportunities, as well as experiences related to the digitalisation of the Energy Sector. Attending the first day I was exposed to a variety of topics ranging from digital transformation through to smart meter challenges and blockchain. Aiming to address several different themes, this write-up will have an overlying purpose of acknowledging both the positive and negative impacts these themes have on jobs within the Energy Sector.

Digitalisation is not a new concept. The dematerialisation of daily life has been happening since the creation of the apple smart phone in 2007. What is new, and worth acknowledging is the enormous rising speed this is now happening at.

Historically the utilities industry has been very slow, previously seeing customers as delivery points. However, there is now a realisation that they can sell more to a customer, with solutions such as Demand Side Response and Smart Homes.  One of the speakers John Ander, CEO at Fortum Tingcore, explained; “utilities are starting to, and will continue to, become more like banks.” Having more to offer and making it harder for people to leave and thus instilling a sense of loyalty. Which leads us to the first main opportunity digitalisation has caused for employment – customer satisfaction and engagement.

Already an important area, this responsibility is by no means going to diminish. With customers committing to utilities for extended periods of times, and with the offering becoming more varied and comprehensive it is evident that there is a high demand for utilities to provide an embracing and supportive function for their clients. This is what will set the utilities apart from the digital superpowers: Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon. There is a common fear that these superpowers will disrupt other industries, and utilities are now wondering if the infrastructure is safe; it would not be hard for Facebook to acquire their own infrastructure. The chance utilities have is to nurture the customer relationship and as digitalisation creates more exposure between utility and customer this will only become more important.

For a full article by Toby Condie, Recruitment Consultant – Energy of ALLEN & YORK please follow this link