The utilities sector is being buffeted by profound change, with disruption coming from numerous directions, including a steep reduction in native supply, accelerating rates of new source connections, and the mainstreaming of downstream renewables.
While these disruptive forces might be affecting individual actors (incumbents and newcomers) differently, the entire industry is contending with unprecedented rates of customer engagement. According to the research, service expectations are being cultivated in more traditionally customer-centric industries, then exported into the utilities sector, where customers are now clamoring for choice and control, “exceptional, reliable, and resilient service”.
Utilities must, of course, meet these new customer expectations in order to ensure a positive service experience. Yet, serving hyper-engaged customers with disparate needs throughout the complex customer journey (up to and including service outages) is difficult. Nor does the aging of infrastructure and other, major (often vulnerable) physical assets make the task of meeting demands for high-quality service while lowering the risk of disruptions and safety incidents any easier.
That’s why for most utilities, effective risk and incident management has become the sole means of efficiently managing safety, security, business disruption and continuity, from the smallest incident or service outage to a major crisis. How, then, to ensure reliability, quality, maintenance, even legal compliance with mandatory reporting requirements? Advanced, integrated safety and security management software, custom-built for utilities, can help. And here’s what to look for on the technology market.
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