Energy & Utilities Companies Underestimate Full Potential of Intelligent Automation


Companies must now redouble their investment to reap the full rewards, suggests Philippe Vié, global head of energy & utilities at Capgemini.

The energy & utilities sector is witnessing a significant rise in the use of intelligent automation, but many companies are still not able to reap the full potential of artificial intelligence (AI), according to a new study by Capgemini Research Institute.

For the study ‘Intelligent Automation in Energy and Utilities: The Next Digital Wave’, the institute surveyed close to 530 business leaders in sector organizations that are experimenting with or already implementing intelligent automation solutions.

The study found that nearly half the respondents have underestimated benefits they derived from their intelligent automation initiatives. While only 18 percent of organizations are deploying quick-win use cases, just 15 percent of those surveyed said their company is deploying multiple intelligent automation use cases at scale.

Barriers to scaling of multiple use cases

The respondents cited business-related challenges as barriers to scaling of multiple intelligent automation use cases. Among others, lack of co-ordination across different business units, lack of leadership commitment and an organizational reticence to experimenting with technology that could replace human workers made it to their list.

Many executives also pointed to a shortage in skills as a challenge. A majority cited lack of talent in automation technologies, with 47 percent identifying limited efforts to reskill employees, 42 percent citing difficulty in retaining employees with right skills and 41 percent citing employee resistance to learning new skills.

However, the energy & utilities sector is already seeing significant value from use of intelligent automation, compared to other industries.

A good percentage of executives surveyed said they have achieved benefits from their intelligent automation initiatives. Some of these benefits include – increase in operations quality and inbound customer leads, improvement in customer experience through faster responses, reduction in the number of processes relating to queries & purchases and increase in staff productivity.

How to reap the full rewards?

Philippe Vié, global head of energy & utilities at Capgemini, suggests shifting focus to the factors that will enable the scaling of multiple use cases including an investment in specialist talent, more integrated co-ordination between business units, and a stronger commitment from leadership.

The energy and utility companies, which have already tasted the benefits of automation,  must now redouble their investment to reap the full rewards, he says.


(With inputs from the Economics Times)