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Digital Transformation for Western Power, Australia

Western Australian state-owned energy company Western Power has selected an Indian multinational information technology services and consulting company to help digitally transform its software systems. Under the multi-year agreement, the company will act as the primary systems integrator across multiple domains including asset management and network operations as well as secondary systems integrator for asset operations, finance and the corporate domain.

The IT services and consulting company will provide services to support Western Power’s commitment towards continually improving its network reliability, the productivity of field services teams, and safety for customers, and support the utility in its transition to a flexible, modular grid. The company will also work with Western Power on the WA and federal governments’ flagship Distributed Energy Resources Program virtual power plant pilot. The two-year Project Symphony pilot aims to aggregate a network of solar-powered homes that collectively generate and store energy.

The Head of ICT at Western Power stated that its network continues to evolve as a result of the growing adoption of renewable energies. Western Power has reached out to organisations with appropriate capability as it delivers on this ‘exciting phase’ of its transformation.

The IT services and consulting company has been selected based on their domain knowledge in the utility and engineering sectors. They have a growing establishment in the Western Australian corporate landscape and are well-positioned to partner with us as we deliver on our corporate objectives, she added.

Digital transformation at the heart of energy’s net-zero ambitions

The convergence of net-zero ambitions, evolving digital and industrial technologies as well as changing consumer awareness is driving the emergence of new digital opportunities within the energy system, according to the Senior Manager Strategy & Consulting at a US-based digital transformation consultancy. The World Economic Forum (WEF) estimates the potential for digital transformation to unlock US$1.3 trillion of value for the global electricity sector alone.

Australia’s energy suppliers are among global trailblazers when it comes to digitising net-zero ambitions. The US-based digital transformation consultancy’s Next Stop: Net Zero survey identified clear intent from Australian energy suppliers to use digital business transformation to drive net-zero outcomes.

70% of Australian energy suppliers are actively engaged in implementing digital transformation strategies intended to help achieve net-zero goals – well above the global average of 50% of energy suppliers. 88% of Australian respondents also expressed that the net-zero agenda presented them with an opportunity to transform their business more broadly.

Australia’s exposure to the destructive effects of climate change is driving increased government, consumer and shareholder visibility of the impacts of climate risk and the need for net-zero focus relative to other jurisdictions.

Strong Australian adoption of renewables over the last few decades has cultivated the underlying conditions for experimentation that other regions are yet to achieve. The next stage will be about orchestration and how digital can enable visibility and control of the underlying pieces to drive value.

The government has been integral in driving change with targeted support to the start-ups and SME segments to increase the rate of innovation and competitive tension in the market, the report notes. Incumbent businesses are compelled to think through and action competitive responses to retain value and relevance as challengers rapidly approach and consume new value pools.

The net-zero mission has become a powerful mantra for driving digital transformation strategies, providing an opportunity for energy suppliers to transform themselves from the inside out.

If energy suppliers are to realise their net-zero ambitions, a significant re-evaluation of their digital strategies needs to take place. This includes forging new partnerships across ecosystems, achieving a deep understanding of customer data, and instilling a culture of innovation. Culture must be instilled from the top down: if management is not on board with the organisation’s digital transformation agenda, it will become impossible to sustain.

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