European Utilities Week: Three Themes of Trepidation

Breakout sessions at any event are an interesting place to be. Keynotes are full of hope, but in hub sessions you pick up on peoples fears. The speakers have a story of industry challenges that they purport to have the answers to – pointing to the concerns they are dealing with on a daily basis. And the audience, with their questions, hone in on this and push for real answers.

At this year’s European Utilities Week the digitalisation hub hosted numerous speakers and in sitting there for two hours three themes became clear: regulations, committing to IoT strategy and ROI.

People are worried about regulations

After almost every twenty-minute presentation the question came ‘what about the hurdle of regulations?’ The exact question differed. Sometimes it wasn’t even a question; the word ‘regulation’ was muttered and left hanging in the air, for the presenter to provide any sort of guidance.

One speaker responded, “Regardless of regulation hurdles you should look towards new opportunities and take them.” Another presenter agreed with this point, stating that regulations are behind the technology advancements of IoT. Regulations often focus on safety – safety of people and safety of data. Suppliers of IoT solutions build with safety, certification and accreditation in mind. Regulators look to the best practices of market leaders and create regulations to bring the average standard up towards these vendors’ dedication to, for example, data security.

Find out more about how Arm Pelion Connectivity Management offers security due to Network Resilience, Encrypted Connection, and Private Network Access.

Electricity Pylons

People are worried about IoT strategy

In these sessions a paradox was identified: presentations talk about connectivity as if it was a brand-new concept to utilities. But the reality is that the concept of connected devices has been allowed to mature organically over a generation without the burden of a buzzword; culminating in 139.2m connected meters shipped in 2017, as one speaker highlighted. What has changed is the scale of connections required and the quantity of data transmitted. And with scale more planning is required.

The fear seems to come from committing to a strategy than may have a 10-year lifecycle. The fear of making the wrong decision on technology or supplier at this early stage is paralyzing. Utility meters are not like consumer devices that are designed to be replaced annually. But there is room for flexibility when deciding how devices stay connected and capitalise on the data consumption that utility companies are just starting to benefit from.

Find out more about how Arm Pelion Connectivity Management offer flexibility of Network Devices, Providers, and Protocols.

Women in high-vis vests

People are (not) worried about ROI

Most enterprises can admit that they are not yet seeing a massive cost benefit of IoT. Pilot projects are focused on the technology advancement. Choosing the right meter and the right technology provider to handle to vast number of connected meters. This requires investment in to new hardware and people’s time. Investment for long-term efficiency and cost-saving is a worthy strategy.

But even now, utility companies should not assume that the meter to cash driver should be completely dismissed. That is why efficiency of cost is a key feature of the Pelion platform. As one speaker from a leading consultancy stated, “The measure of a successful IoT strategy is when it touches the core business, or better yet, becomes to core of business, not just an innovation project.” To achieve an IoT strategy that becomes a core part of your business requires a strong business case.

Find out more about how Arm Pelion Connectivity Management offer efficiency in Cost, Performance, and Management.

Every challenge has a solution. A desire to problem solve and enabling technology holds the key. Find out how three of Arm’s utilities customers, ranging from meter manufacturers to utility providers, are achieving their IoT strategies.

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