What utilities envision for the future: an IDC Energy Insights Executive Brief

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Utilities are currently in the middle of an industry transformation. Based on a global survey of utility executives, IDC Energy Insights explores the industry’s sentiment regarding its future in this evolving landscape.

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Among 10 major findings in the paper, which was commissioned by Ericsson and carried out by analysis company IDC, are that utilities expect to see more outsourcing and more competition in the coming years.

Globally, over half (52 percent) of utilities expect to see data analysis outsourced, with European utilities strongly driving that trend.

One in four of the European utilities surveyed said that they expect decentralization of energy systems over the next decade, while three out of four American utilities said that they expect competition to be introduced in their markets within five years.

This increase in competition is a worldwide trend, with 35 percent of utilities around the world expecting non-utility companies to pose the most serious competitive challenge over the next five years – with 70 percent expecting regulatory changes that will affect their businesses.

The paper identified talent retention, aging infrastructure and integration of renewable energy sources to be among the biggest challenges facing utilities as they approach 2020.

The IDC survey results are based on ad hoc interviews with 76 utilities executives from across Europe, the US and Brazil in 2015.

The paper concludes that better asset management, reducing costs and converting data into valuable information will all be key in terms of adapting the business models of utilities for survival in the new landscape.