From commodities to
high-value service providers

Megatrends in Utilities: The rise of a decentralized energy world

For decades, utilities’ core business has centered on complex, yet straightforward, operations that provide services in a mono-directional way. But deregulation and privatizations have disrupted the landscape, while new technologies and sustainable energy requirements have led to an increased need for flexibility.

Today’s mutations bring major opportunities for utilities to place themselves at the core of the data-driven, smart service ecosystems of tomorrow. To benefit from extraordinary growth prospects with digital, utilities will need to undergo a substantial transformation in all domains: customer relations, operations, business models and compliance …

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of utilities will leverage public Clouds by 2019


of mobile utility workforce will use augmented reality by 2019


of utilities will speed up digital innovations by 2019


will be spent on smart grid data analytics in 2022
$ = USD

New energy sources, distributed value chains and empowered customers are disrupting the utility landscape. They may threaten existing processes; they will also bring extraordinary opportunities for growth.

Mauro Grimoldi,

Head of Sales, Energy & Utility, Atos

Franck Chevalley,

Chief Executive Officer, Atos Worldgrid

Four transformation challenges and opportunities for the future of Utilities

Provide a 360°
prosumer experience

To succeed when facing better-informed, savvy and empowered customers, incumbents must provide a better experience along the entire consumer journey. The opportunity: not just avoiding being disintermediated but fostering loyalty and boosting cross-selling

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operations further

To avoid being outpaced by tech-savvy competitors, incumbents must leverage the best of new-generation analytics. What’s at stake: get one step ahead in competitiveness, from power generation and trading to transmission, distribution, retail and services.

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Develop multi-sided
business ecosystems

For traditional utilities to succeed, it is crucial they build the capacity to attract and federate the largest range of partners in domains such as smart homes, e-vehicles and smart cities. The prize of the game: move, scale and take the lead in tomorrow’s data-driven ecosystems.

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Guarantee complete
trust & compliance

In the digital age, utilities are at the heart of the vital networks that power nations and business. For utilities, security is much more than a hot topic; it’s a vital opportunity as well: a way to turn trust into a source of business growth.

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Take a look at the key technologies that will shape the future of Utilities:


Hybrid Cloud and Edge Computing are reviving Cloud initiatives by enabling seamless integration of private and public Cloud platforms. With this model, organizations can exploit the benefits of public Cloud: pay-per-use, ‘infinite’ bursting resources, agility and innovation. Utility players must adapt their IT processes and prepare for related security implications.


Real-Time Service Orchestration enables firms to constantly adapt back or front office services to market demand or supply conditions, across the whole utility value chain. While ecosystems of producers, distributors and retailers are complexifying, utilities should leverage real-time technologies (such as SAP HANA or others) to increase data-driven agility.


API Platforms allow data and services to be distributed across third parties. Utility players should put API platforms at the heart of their digital strategy to attract ecosystems partners and create multi-sided marketplaces.


Robotic Process Automation will bring virtual workforces for managing repetitive tasks, reducing the cost of administrative and regulatory processes by at least 50% while improving quality and speed. Utilities need to standardize processes to facilitate automation and engage in ambitious change management programs.


Artificial Intelligence promises to second human cognitive capabilities with virtual assistants, chatbots, knowledge engineering, smart machines and autonomous vehicles. It will impact customer experience, business models and operations along the entire value chain. Utility players must prepare for the business, human and legal impacts.


Prescriptive Security uses real-time dark web monitoring, AI and automation to detect potential threats and stop them before they strike. Applications range from cyber-protection to fraud management and compliance. Utility players should explore integrating it into their IT/OT Security Operation Centers.


Drones and Robots are promising to significantly reduce costs in transmission and distribution of assets and line inspection. By 2020, they may achieve savings of 5% and 30% respectively, making starting to assess the technology today worthwhile for utilities.


Augmented and Virtual Reality are blurring real and virtual worlds, allowing customers, partners and employees to engage with digital services within the context of their current environment. Utility players should explore use cases in field work optimization, maintenance and safety management.


Blockchain is a potential game-changer for conducting business with parties without prior trust relationships. In Utilities, hyperledger technologies can help implement decentralized energy businesses, leveraging automated contracting and the microservice economy. Utility ecosystems should explore applications today.


Quantum Computing promises to break traditional combinatory analysis limitations, bringing advances in High- Performance Computing for simulation and Big Data analysis. It will also elevate risk by potentially breaking current cryptographic standards. Utility players must start preparing for both Quantum computing and quantum-safe cryptography.

1Hybrid Cloud 2Real-Time Service Orchestration 3API Platforms 4Robotic Process Automation 5Artificial Intelligence 6Prescriptive Security 7Drones & Robots 8Augmented Reality 9Blockchain 10Quantum Computing
  • Mainstream
  • Early Adoption
  • Adolescent
  • Emerging

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