Extensive research project with over 80 North American utility organizations reveals the most pressing challenges and opportunities in 2016.The utility industry undoubtedly is experiencing a digital transformation that is changing the way organizations do business. As these emerging technologies shape the landscape, there needs to be clear strategy and alignment to match the objectives of the business.

The SAP for Utilities conference team has been on a search to find out what the industry is struggling with most and who has overcome these challenges with evidence best practices and solutions. Our research has uncovered the following themes which will be the framework for the content presented at the conference taking place October 9-12 in Huntington Beach, California.

Changing Business Models
Utility organizations work within a constantly changing business, regulatory and technology environment. As the ability to make meaning of vast amounts of data from disparate sources becomes more prevalent and cloud technologies revolutionize the way organizations do business, so opportunities to bring new offerings and services to market disrupt the industry. To support this, organizations want clear visibility from their technology providers, including SAP, where they are looking for guidance on the roadmap and future.

Rise of Asset Data
The world has changed. Businesses are demanding and new leadership styles, technologies and global standards are emerging. The big asset management shift is on and maintenance and reliability have moved beyond their operational role, transforming into a core, focused and disciplined strategic business function. People, technology and new standards are the essential enablers of this transformation.

Cyber Security
In a world with ever changing and increasing threats, nothing is more important than the safety of your employees and customers. As part of the digital transformation, cyber security has emerged as one of the critical challenges facing utility organizations. Within a matter of seconds a breach in security can undermine the safety of your operations and infrastructure. Financial risks and exposure resulting from your data and information falling into the wrong hands can be devastating.

Customer Centricity
Dissatisfied utilities customers have shown that they will vote with their feet, move to another supplier and they are not shy to share their experience on social media. Utility organizations must continually strive to serve the customer better from both a rate and overall customer experience perspective. The aim is to continually improve the customer relationship while growing the brand and seeking out new revenue models. Integrating the right multi-channel solutions and having the correct CRM systems in place remain essential to creating the ultimate 360 view of the customer.

Opex Focus
For a utility organization, getting simpler around how they manage, track and report financials is an important topic. Executives want constant visibility on profits, cost tracking, unexpected expenses, and internal KPI metrics. Ultimately the organization is looking for a clear understanding of how current spending will impact the future of the business.

Learn more by downloading the full SAP for Utilities Research Report which outlines a comprehensive look at our findings. The SAP for Utilities conference will unite the industry to uncover how utility professionals have overcame these business challenges with best practice case studies. Register for SAP for Utilities with promo code Metering16 to save up to $700.