Information Technology Foresight

The latest thinking on creating competitive advantage through information technology.

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The digitization of utilities: There is a will, but is there a way?

Despite its reach into every home and business around the world, the utilities industry continues to lag in its efforts to digitize either its internal operations or its customer interactions. But it is trying, and leading companies are showing the way.

61% — of utility companies do not currently have a unified digital vision.

This month’s issue of IT Foresight features “The digitization of utilities: There is a will, but is there a way?” an in-depth analysis of the state of the utilities industry’s efforts to benefit from digital technologies. While industry executives certainly possess the will to digitize, so far, investment in the area remains low. Still, moves on the part of the industry’s digital leaders can offer some direction in finding the path forward.

Featured Foresights

The digitization of utilities: There is a will, but is there a way?
Strategy& viewpoint
Already under threat from technology companies looking to benefit from the smart home and smart cities, the utilities industry is feeling the pressure to digitize. So far, however, it has struggled. Our survey of executives at utilities across the globe shows that while the desire to digitize is high, they still lack the digital vision, investment, culture, and capabilities needed. The opportunity is certainly there to strengthen the connection with their customers and to increase operational efficiency. But to take advantage, they must move forward on several fronts at once: data and IT infrastructure; organization and governance; and digital culture and change management.
10 Principles for Leading the Next Industrial Revolution
s+b article
Is your company ready to participate in the great migration to the digital economy? Does it have the vision, capabilities, and management acumen to move fast enough? Here are 10 guiding principles that every company should put into practice early in their efforts to join in the digital revolution—including business model renewal, a platform-based strategy, rapid innovation, customer-centricity, and expertise with data and analytics.
Digitization in pharma: Gaining an edge in operations
Strategy& viewpoint
Until recently, the pharmaceuticals industry has moved cautiously in its efforts to reap the benefits of digitization. That’s changing. Efforts to build a digital supply chain ecosystem are leading to improvements at every stage of the operations value chain: plan, source, make, and deliver. Among the benefits: better planning accuracy, greater manufacturing efficiency and productivity, lower inventory levels, and higher service levels. While issues such as cybersecurity and initial cost remain concerns, few large pharmas can afford to lose out on this opportunity to gain real competitive advantage.

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