It’s the topic that spans generations – energy.
With a shift from fossil fuels to renewables, the energy sector is set to undergo major transformation change in the years and decades to come.
But it won’t be an easy process, as IFS Australia and New Zealand Managing Director Warren Zietsman points out.
“One of the first things people need to understand are some of the challenges the industry and society are facing at the moment,” Zietsman revealed to Ticker Insight. “Supply chain issues, war in Ukraine, COVID, ageing infrastructure, ageing workforce, governance and regulatory issues – the list goes on.
“The energy sector at the moment is really faced with a myriad of issues that they’ve got to face – from a strategic and tactical level.
“There’s a big move from fossil fuels to renewables, and this brings about timing and reliability challenges.
“Also, the energy companies are moving from their traditional hierarchical distribution grid to a smart grid, and that is important because it changes where the energy is produced and distributed.
“Finally, there is also a focus on the complex asset management solutions, and how the next-gen technology can be integrated in managing these assets.”
Zietsman highlights the key factor for managing this transition will be digital transformation.
“Energy companies have assets to maintain, customers to serve and people who work for them,” he says. “The idea is to bring these together in harmony, to be able to deliver energy that is reliable and regular at the right time for the right people.
“Undertaking digital transformation and setting yourself up on a platform that allows you to go to an end-to-end user and customer experience, is critical for any industry and company at the moment.”
Zietsman argues energy companies, with a smart grid in place, need to plan for, and understand, how the energy will be used by the consumer – and even fed back in – via tools and devices called IoT connectors.
“Maintaining your assets and being able to transport the data from the asset, and use that information is critical,” he elaborates. “Under a smart grid system, where you’ve got people putting energy back on the grid, IoT connectors in their home, telling the energy company, what kind of energy levels they’re using, what they’re putting back on the grid is equally as important as maintaining the assets.
“What is quite important is to undertake a digital transformation with something that will allow you to have that technology embedded in your solution.
“The old days of companies buying a third-party piece of software as a solution means it is not integrated, and it becomes an issue.
“The visibility of data provides real-time decision making.
“It provides meaningful decision making and it provides measurability, because if you have accurate data, you can measure progress against sustainability goals, against performance management with your customers, and in terms of asset management of your assets.
“That’s quite key.” Zietsman concludes.
To find out more about the energy shift and the digital transformation, head to the IFS website.