Digitization of the energy industry: seizing opportunities

Market players – whether municipal utilities, international energy companies or intermediaries – have always been subject to fast-moving and volatile market conditions and a high level of statutory regulation. The digitalization of the energy industry is a decisive factor in meeting the complex challenges. The numerous market participants in the energy sector have to incorporate laws and regulatory requirements quickly and flexibly into their business models and communicate and exchange large volumes of data with each other in a timely manner. The focus is therefore always on optimizing internal processes with the aim of achieving operational excellence. The increase in complexity in the entire energy market is drastic – it can hardly be mastered without digitalization in the energy sector, which requires far-reaching change management through to automation.

Digitalization in the energy sector: managing data streams efficiently

Against this backdrop, efficient and flexibly adaptable process flows and data platforms are required to master the challenges of digitalization in the energy industry. These enable rapid reactions, ensure the implementation of workflows along the supply chain of local, regional and supra-regional market participants and pave the way for the optimal use of existing information and coordination options in a coordinated cooperation model. The digital transformation of the energy industry also requires the expansion of affiliated companies, whether through partnerships and cooperations with highly specialized companies or their acquisition, in order to be able to jointly offer a wide range of complex services. This in turn makes a fundamental restructuring of existing IT landscapes unavoidable in order to meet the requirements of a digitalized energy supply. Our IT experts will support you in the digitalization of the energy industry and the selection of suitable IT services, optimizing your IT landscape on the one hand through individually developed solutions and on the other through the integration of suitable standard systems. We work with you to integrate middleware solutions and set up data platforms so that you can work flexibly and securely with your service partners and the shared data. We orchestrate your services, monitor them on request and thus make a valuable contribution to ensuring that energy suppliers and service providers can work with a consistent view of your data across all levels. Our experts are also there for you when it comes to data governance and can help you make the most of the opportunities presented by digitalization in the energy sector.

Major hurdles: the digitalization of the energy industry is progressing slowly

In the midst of highly volatile energy markets, scarce resources and rising energy prices, our analysis with Statista reveals an explosive result regarding the use of integrated CRM and ERP solutions in the energy sector: only just under half of companies in the energy industry use CRM and ERP software for consistently transparent and efficient process automation.
process automation
. This lack of digitalization in the energy industry has far-reaching consequences. This is because many companies are literally groping in the dark, especially when it comes to evaluating customer behavior. Less than a fifth of companies (18 percent) differentiate themselves from their competitors by specifically analyzing their customer data. There are many reasons for this: a key challenge of digitalization in the energy industry is where IT systems have been in operation for a long time, many in-house developments and additional modules are in use or very individual processes deviate greatly from standard processes. All of this makes the transition to modern IT landscapes complex and time-consuming.

Replacing cumbersome, monolithic legacy systems

All players in the energy sector are facing the challenge of renewing their legacy IT systems or replacing them completely. These include, for example, long-established billing solutions, which are often part of standardized and monolithic enterprise resource planning (ERP) landscapes. However, these do not adequately cover the current product variance in the energy sector. The digitalization of individual processes is also not a satisfactory solution – a holistic transformation in which all process flows are also put to the test and consistently optimized is, according to our IT and industry experts, a proven best practice approach that is currently still rather rare.

In view of the enormous requirements, the objective is clearly to improve the IT applications of the specialist departments, replace high-maintenance and sluggish legacy systems and establish an open, collaborative IT infrastructure. The use of easy-to-maintain cloud and SaaS solutions will become increasingly important in the energy industry in the future. Market players have also recognized the need to operate integrated customer relationship management (CRM) systems for modern omni-channel sales.

With such highly flexible, networked and automated IT, municipal utilities, energy companies and intermediaries alike should be able to quickly and agilely map new products and services at manageable costs. This includes, for example, regular tariff adjustments and information on legal regulations as well as new offers with regard to electromobility, new municipal services such as a comprehensive charging station infrastructure or new sales models in the course of the increasing use of photovoltaics. If energy companies transform themselves in this direction, nothing will stand in the way of their development from traditional commodity suppliers to comprehensive energy service providers.

Using big data profitably in the energy sector - we know how

Processing large volumes of data has always played an important role in the energy industry. Decision-makers are aware of the importance of meaningful key performance indicators (KPIs), efficient process monitoring and targeted process control, including error analyses in the sense of comprehensive total quality management (TQM). However, in order to fully exploit the potential available here, the preparation of the data, its quality and cross-divisional accessibility is an important prerequisite, but one that is rarely achieved in practice. Our IT consultants support you in setting up the right data platform and data governance strategy. Data platforms help to break down existing data silos and, with the help of data governance solutions, enable the collection and description of all company-relevant data from different source systems – coupled with the introduction of new processes and disciplines such as data ownership and data stewardship. Not only are you taking a logical step into the digital future, you are also laying a solid foundation for the use of data science and artificial intelligence (AI) in your company.

Our team has the necessary experience in the energy sector to shape and support the transformation

For the challenges described above, we offer you a portfolio of services to support the necessary software development and implementation processes in the following phases:

In classic, agile or hybrid IT projects, our experts take on the following roles on request and depending on requirements:

Our lighthouse projects in the energy sector

Our team has a wide range of solutions expertise and comprehensive industry knowledge in the energy sector. Here you can get an informative overview of the various projects we have realized in this area:

Project ID: 5770

Transformation of a middleware platform in the energy sales and trading business

Project ID: 5085

Application for the acquisition, processing and visualization of IoT device data

Project ID: 5872

Modernization of the IT landscape

Project ID: 5798

Concept for the introduction of a DataCatalog

Project ID: 5401

Introduction of an ALM tool at an energy supplier

Project ID: 5669

Introduction of integrated process management

Partnerships that underpin our solution expertise

The far-reaching market upheavals in the energy sector are resulting in diverse and complex requirements, both from an organizational and technological perspective. The energy sector is moving away from customizing its monolithic legacy systems and aligning its organizations with IT standards. With the support of professional implementation partners, energy service providers orchestrate variable SaaS solutions and aggregate big data on central IT platforms. Market participants have recognized the need for scalable, modular IT system landscapes. The lack of qualified IT staff is too great and the costs of keeping complex legacy systems running, which in any case only inadequately cover current requirements, are too high. In order to translate these upheavals into modern IT solutions for our customers, we rely not only on our proven industry and solution expertise, but also on powerful initiatives and partnerships:

The openKONSEQUENZ consortium is a special initiative in the energy sector. As a founding member and service provider member, we are involved in the further development of architecture, quality and security standards for the openKONSEQUENZ platform, but also in the further development of the consortium itself. The aim of the association, which now has 21 members, is to provide water and energy network operators with the right software and to implement standards for open data exchange in order to jointly manage the energy transition and digitalization. The modular and secure software solutions are developed by several independent software houses.

Research our IT projects in the energy sector

Das Aufsetzen eines Entwicklungssystems mit dem Betriebssystem Windows 2019 in der PTA für die Anwendung Intercompany Confirmation Manager. Das Verifizieren der Funktionalitäten der Anwendung Intercompany Confirmation Manager mit dem Betriebssystem Windows 2019. …

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Dr. Andreas Schneider

Sector Manager Energy

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