Even prior to the global pandemic, traditional utilities faced strong headwinds. Growing competition from digital startups on the retail side of the business threatened their market hegemony. And accelerating concerns over climate change prioritized the need to explore renewable forms of energy generation.
But the stakes rose to unprecedented levels by pandemic-induced disruption. As worker safety became a top priority and customer behavior changed, utilities pushed headlong to create new business models and operating environments powered by digital.
Utilities are moving to deploy digital technologies such as the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and data/analytics to automate tasks and empower frontline workers. By merging sustainability goals with digital investments, utilities are seeking transparency and a more resilient foundation for delivering measurable outcomes and winning market share. However, as processes get a digital boost, the role of humans will also evolve, requiring utilities to strike a balance by enhancing worker skillsets.
Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work surveyed 4,000 business leaders from around the world, including 285 senior utilities executives, to understand how they are preparing for a world reshaped by the pandemic and the pivot to digital.