Energy’s Digital Transformation

The business of Energy relies on information technology. Now more than ever. We sat down recently with David Klein, Senior Director of Business Development, and Srinivas Karra, Director of Technology Solutions, to talk about the expanding role of technology in the Energy industry.

You’re both plugged into the Energy industry. Particularly as it pertains to IT solutions. What’s happening?

In terms of IT demand, one area, in particular, is standing out at the moment. Electricity Markets. We’re seeing an uptick in their need for smart technology to support operations and stay ahead of their competition.

What’s driving this demand?

Think about it. Twenty years ago, Electricity Markets were still focused primarily on coal and nuclear energy. The needs of Electricity Markets today are far more complex. And diverse. Solar, Wind, Bio. Each energy source has its own set of requirements. Combine this with the need to quickly adjust business processes and practices to address changes in policies, to respond to the DOE’s call to modernize delivery systems, to get in front of increased competition…and it becomes clear that the demand has actually been growing for some time. The availability of smart technology to address these needs is the catalyst.

What’s the effect of these diverse energy sources on the industry’s business?

There are so many examples. One fundamental effect is the increase in complexity required of the systems that keep the lights on, so to speak. For example, consider the additional stress from decentralization on the systems that manage how different forms of power are moved from source to load.

You mentioned smart technology as a solution?

Yes. But let’s start with a definition, because the term can mean so many different things to different people. Smart, as we’re referring to it here, is advanced digital technology (think cloud, mobile, data and analytics, IoT, artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, blockchain) that can master complexity with next-level automation, security, efficiency, speed, and reliability

How can smart technology help?

Imagine the value of having mobile access to systems that automate metering and provide real-time tracking and reporting of grid conditions. These systems can automatically forecast prices based on massive amounts of historical data – and then continuously adapt those forecasts as new data comes in.

How much digital or smart technology development work is being handled internally?

More and more all the time, especially for skillsets that are foundational to digital and will continue to be required full time. Technology consultants – the category we fit in – are being engaged to help with technical assessments and strategy, to develop and deliver projects, to contribute advanced skills in new or narrow areas of technology, to help client-internal teams expand their own skills, and to help clients resolve resource allocation challenges.
Technology consultants are also being hired as delivery partners for the business and management advisory firms these clients engage.

How do these Electricity Markets get started? What’s the first step?

Tap in to your internal technology teams to understand the current state and the challenges they’re facing. Talk with your business users to capture their frustrations. Attend seminars and conferences to get a feel for what’s possible and what’s right for you. Get your stakeholders to buy in to the unprecedented value and benefit of embracing digitalization. I think you’ll find the first step that’s right for you. And you’ll find that digitalization can happen incrementally.

Any final advice or thoughts?

Well, of course I hope you know that we’re here to help, regardless of where you are on your digital journey. We have a team of technical specialists working in the global energy marketplace today, and we’re continuing to grow this team to support demand. If you aren’t yet ready to take the leap, my advice would be to keep your business, operational, and technical teams talking to each other. And to you. Network with other Electricity Market executives. And stay informed – the landscape keeps changing.

All the best!

Meet our experts

David Klein works with Fortune 100 clients in the Energy and Financial marketplace. David’s expertise includes Energy Trading Risk Management, Regulatory Tech, Compliance, Cybersecurity, and Data & Analytics. David is a Senior Director of Business Development with Analysts International Corporation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and an MBA in International Business. (David.klein@analysts.com)

Srinivas Karra leads our global technical teams in delivering data-driven, digital solutions for our Health Care and Energy clients. Srinivas’s expertise includes Big Data, Advanced Analytics, NLP, Machine Learning, and DevOps. Srinivas is a Director of Technology Solutions at GGK Tech, a global operating unit of Analysts International Corporation. He holds a Master’s in engineering and an MBA in Strategy and Leadership. (srinivas.karra@analysts.com)

“Digital transformation could unlock $1.3 trillion of value for the electricity sector.” – World Economic Forum

How Smart Technology Helps

Here’s an example. An RTO client wanted a mobile app that would support access to realtime wholesale power prices, grid conditions, electricity use, and other data to support their business decision-making. Working on an Amazon EC2 cloud platform, we created web services, integrated data sources for improved tracking, and implemented local caching to reduce the load on external APIs. The result is a highly reliable and scalable tool that:

  • Forecasts power prices based on historical trends
  • Facilitates real-time access of locational marginal pricing
  • Allows users to visually identify power waste
  • Alerts users when price or grid conditions cross specified threshold levels

How We Can Help

Our focus is on delivering digital transformation solutions. We have aligned our teams with the requirements of today’s Energy industry.

Application Services.

Web, Mobile, Enterprise, UI/UX, Blockchain, QA, Legacy Modernization

Cloud Services.

Strategy, Operations, Development, Migration, Monitoring, IoT

Data and Analytics.

Strategy, Integration, BI, Big Data, Predictive Analytics

Artificial Intelligence.

Machine Learning, NLP, RPA, Chatbots

Business Services.

DevOps, Agile Transformation, PMO Services, Business Consulting

Thank You

We have served private and public-sector clients for more than 50 years. We’re here to serve you as well.

Analysts International Corporation

7700 France Avenue, Suite 200 Minneapolis, MN 55435 www.analysts.com

Analysts International Corporation, a Certified MBE firm, is a wholly owned subsidiary of American CyberSystems, Inc. (ACS Group). © 2018 Analysts International Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Names and logos of companies/ products mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners and are used for identification purposes only.

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