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Financial transformation in the public utility industry is underway—are you ready?

By Steven Porter, Workday Government Practice Leader

Fundamental changes are reshaping the public utility industry as we currently know it, whether it is meeting evolving customer expectations, building a modern distribution framework, or living into sustainability and corporate responsibility mandates. These changes call for innovative capabilities and are prompting real business transformation in an industry that hasn't seen considerable development in decades.

But why is this shift happening now? What do business need to do to stay competitive during this industry-wide transformation? How can businesses be better positioned for the future? These are all great questions to be asking.

To be successful, finance leaders in the utility industry are increasingly recognizing the value of cloud-based solutions in driving the changes now expected by consumers, regulators, and business stakeholders. Moving to modern, agile and innovative technology creates greater operational efficiencies and provides additional insights for decision making while also strengthening capabilities to meet customer expectations.

Let’s dive into what’s shaping this transformation in the utility industry.

Providing a better user experience

In a world powered by digitalization, users expect to have anything and everything readily available to them, and utilities are no exception. Today’s utility customers need and expect simple and seamless engagement channels that match up to their personal digital experiences. Public utilities investing in digitalization leverage customer-centric, responsive technology to create a better user experience for both their customers and internal users.

With cloud-based technology, companies are better positioned to provide customers and internal teams with real-time information, further increasing user satisfaction. All things considered, an enriched experience is a key driver of the overall transformation picture and is a big part of why we’re seeing a financial transformation within this industry now.

Improving cybersecurity

Legacy systems are often more vulnerable to potential security attacks and breaches as the digital world continues to evolve. With outdated infrastructure comes archaic security features that lack a competitive advantage against cyber attackers. In addition, older platforms are often not able to keep up with new threats and regulatory requirements for data security. As a result, businesses on legacy platforms will become increasingly susceptible to cyber threats and data breaches.

Migrating to modern technologies provides businesses with the assurance that their data will be secure, both now and in the future. New security models are embedded into the technology and providers are always working to stay ahead of the latest threats.

Modernizing legacy infrastructure

A significant portion of the utility industry’s current infrastructure is 10 years or more past its useful life and in desperate need of replacement. These older platforms are increasingly unable to support a new set of business needs and strategies to drive future growth. Gone are the days of pushing paper and manually entering information into spreadsheets. Effectively leveraging company operational and financial data is no longer an option; it is an imperative.

Shifting from legacy platforms to cloud-based technology improves the operational capabilities necessary to stay competitive and drive results. With an integrated cloud solution, utility leaders gain enhanced visibility to the transactional and financial data that allow for development, execution, and measurement of business strategies. Better reporting, analytics and data visualization capabilities support operational performance and unlock actionable insights for better and faster decision making.

So, are you ready for this transformation?

With the utility industry at the cusp of financial transformation, now is the time to think about cloud-based solutions and how they can increase customer satisfaction, enhance security, drive business results, and maximize competitive advantage.

Steven Porter, Workday Government Practice Leader
Steven Porter, Workday Government Practice Leader
By Steven Porter, Workday Government Practice Leader

Steven Porter is a growth leader in Alight's Public Sector practice. He has over twenty years of building customer relationships within asset intensive regulated industries. He also led Workday's initial solution development for energy and oil & gas markets.

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