Dawn of an Era: Or is IoT Already Here?
Digital Revolution in Effect
If you think the next big thing to happen to the utilities is digital revolution- then, rethink! The revolution is happening right now, with utilities adopting digital tools to engage their customers in real–time; and leveraging the power of cloud & SaaS to streamline their operations, workforce management and data analytics. ‘Internet of Things’ is relatively new to the utilities, in fact for lot of industries outside but it is the next big thing, having the power to disrupt the sector.
Internet of Things (IoT) For Utilities
Internet of Things means to connect everything possible with internet; giving them the power to send and receive data. In utilities’ case, it means connecting grids, meters, appliances and other devices with the network. It effectively implies there will be volumes of data at the disposal of utilities that has the potential to be harnessed for fulfillment of energy efficiency and water conservation goals. For some, who might just still be skeptical of the revenue opportunities presented by IoT consider this- “Worldwide Internet of Things Spending by Vertical Market 2014–2018 Forecast,” IDC, June 2014 is- $201 billion with compound annual growth rate of 18.6% between 2013-2018.
Once, the Internet of Things takes its effect, we will see utilities harnessing the data to make personalized customer profiles based on their consumption patterns, to tailor targeted marketing and DR programs, to reduce consumption, wastage and shift peak load. Also, this presents a wonderful opportunity for utilities to develop new business models through efficient customer engagement leading to returns on capital invested on infrastructure. There can be increased revenue realization for the utilities through reduction in energy and water theft, leakages and ill-timely outages.
IoT for Customers
At the same time, customers can access their usage data in coordination with utilities from their mobile devices via applications, and accordingly make behavioral and lifestyle changes by participating in the campaigns run by the utilities. Once all the technologies, machines and devices interconnect with social media and digital lives of the consumers, there will be an ocean of data, which is invaluable and has the capacity to highlight consumer preferences, inclinations, priorities and trends. The opportunities are endless, and it is only our imagination that limits us in collecting and using the data.
Where is IoT
Overall, it is a win-win situation for customers and utilities alike. And, we are actually seeing the IoT take its effect along with alternate data mining technologies like Big Data, Predictive Analysis and more. The rate at which utilities are adopting digitalization, we might see IoT soon or is it already before us?