The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a new round of digital transformation at North America’s utilities, which were already modernizing and responding to climate-change challenges, according to a new report published today by Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.
The 2021 ISG Provider Lens™ Utilities Industry – Services and Solutions report for North America finds lockdowns and social-distancing requirements revealed new vulnerabilities in an industry that traditionally has focused on the risks of weather and natural disasters, the report says. In response, utilities broadened their digital transformation efforts to strengthen supply chains, workforce collaboration, customer service, cybersecurity and other aspects of the business.
“Enabling remote work and improving the customer experience are major steps in utility modernization,” said Bob Lutz, partner in ISG’s Energy and Utilities Industry vertical. “Successful players are making changes across the board to meet the new challenges.”
Providers of IT and digital transformation services have helped utilities respond to the pandemic by building agile work-from-anywhere models with enhanced cybersecurity and service continuity, the report says. They are also assisting in the development of digital customer service platforms for a more seamless multichannel customer experience that includes voice, text, chatbots, social media and in-person contact.
As utilities reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and adopt more wind, solar and other green sources of energy, the operating patterns of both transmission and distribution companies and system operators are changing, according to ISG. This requires them to implement a whole host of new technologies for supply and demand forecasting, situational awareness, automated demand response and other functions. Providers of digital transformation services are using their data management and data science expertise to help utilities develop these capabilities.
Both power and water utilities are rapidly modernizing their networks with smart meters, more sensors and automated outage prediction, the report says. These overhauls also include more advanced analytics, forecasting, modeling and optimization technologies, along with grid resiliency programs for more robust responses to low-probability tail events.
Modernizing customer service infrastructure is another major challenge utilities are taking on, ISG says. Replacing customer information systems (CIS) requires major investments of time and capital, as well as organizational change management to foster acceptance of the new technologies in this traditionally conservative sector. Service providers are helping utilities carry out these changes through training, tools, accelerators and execution frameworks that reduce the risks of CIS transformation.
The 2021 ISG Provider Lens™ Utilities Industry – Services and Solutions report for North America evaluates the capabilities of 37 providers across five quadrants: Digital Transformation Services and Solutions – Large Accounts, Digital Transformation Services and Solutions – Midmarket, Intelligent Business Process Management Solutions, Next-Gen IT Services – Large Accounts, and Next-Gen IT Services – Midmarket.
The report names Accenture, Capgemini, Cognizant, IBM, Infosys, TCS and Wipro as Leaders in three quadrants. Atos, Birlasoft, CGI, EXL, HCL, LTI, Tech Mahindra and WNS are named as Leaders in two quadrants, and Alorica and Teleperformance are named as Leaders in one quadrant each.
In addition, Conduent and Softtek are named as Rising Stars—companies with a “promising portfolio” and “high future potential” by ISG’s definition—in one quadrant each.
The 2021 ISG Provider Lens™ Utilities Industry – Services and Solutions report for North America is available to subscribers or for one-time purchase on this webpage.
About ISG Provider Lens™ Research
The ISG Provider Lens™ Quadrant research series is the only service provider evaluation of its kind to combine empirical, data-driven research and market analysis with the real-world experience and observations of ISG’s global advisory team. Enterprises will find a wealth of detailed data and market analysis to help guide their selection of appropriate sourcing partners, while ISG advisors use the reports to validate their own market knowledge and make recommendations to ISG’s enterprise clients. The research currently covers providers offering their services globally, across Europe, as well as in the U.S., Germany, Switzerland, the U.K., France, the Nordics, Brazil and Australia/New Zealand, with additional markets to be added in the future. For more information about ISG Provider Lens research, please visit this webpage.
A companion research series, the ISG Provider Lens Archetype reports, offer a first-of-its-kind evaluation of providers from the perspective of specific buyer types.
ISG (Information Services Group) (Nasdaq: III) is a leading global technology research and advisory firm. A trusted business partner to more than 700 clients, including more than 75 of the world’s top 100 enterprises, ISG is committed to helping corporations, public sector organizations, and service and technology providers achieve operational excellence and faster growth. The firm specializes in digital transformation services, including automation, cloud and data analytics; sourcing advisory; managed governance and risk services; network carrier services; strategy and operations design; change management; market intelligence and technology research and analysis. Founded in 2006, and based in Stamford, Conn., ISG employs more than 1,300 digital-ready professionals operating in more than 20 countries—a global team known for its innovative thinking, market influence, deep industry and technology expertise, and world-class research and analytical capabilities based on the industry’s most comprehensive marketplace data. For more information, visit www.isg-one.com.