In the North American market for power utility IT services IBM, Accenture, Capgemini and CGI are the market leaders, according to independent analyst firm Verdantix. The benchmark report, Green Quadrant Power Utility IT Services (North America), compares 10 technology consulting and systems integration firms and helps buyers in utilities to save time, reduce costs and mitigate risks in supplier selection. The analysis is based on an assessment of suppliers on 78 criteria and interviews with an independent panel of 14 customers representing firms with revenues of $92 billion.
“Power utility business models are entering a period of fundamental change” commented Susan Clarke, Verdantix Industry Analyst and author of the report. “We found that utilities are being compelled to design and implement entirely new IT platforms. New regulations, the widespread deployment of renewable energy and a deluge of data from smart meters are driving the need to invest. At the same time, the convergence of information technology with operational technology is creating opportunities for more efficient, scalable and resilient power utilities.”
The Verdantix benchmark covers 14 categories of IT systems that support power utility operations including power plant management, smart meters, grid asset management, load management, cyber security, mobile workforce management, micro grids, customer engagement and energy trading. Across all categories of power utility IT services assessed in the benchmark, IBM achieved the highest overall capabilities score, followed by Accenture, Capgemini, CGI and Schneider Electric. AT&T has strong capabilities for utility communications solutions, Infosys for outage and network management, Siemens for micro grids and Wipro for grid asset management.
Buyers of IT services at North American power utilities stated that their most significant drivers for IT upgrades in 2015 and 2016 would be the increasing volume of smart meter data (64% of respondents), new customer requirements (57%) and improving operational efficiency (50%). In the next 2 years, North American power utilities will primarily seek IT advice for customer management systems (53%), mobile workforce management (27%) and cyber security management systems (27%).
“This benchmark study demonstrates the incredible breadth of new IT system requirements that power utilities face as a consequence of mounting pressures to change decades-old business models” commented Rodolphe d’Arjuzon, Verdantix Managing Director. “Whilst utilities are slow to adopt innovations due to their focus on reliability it is often regulators who are the primary culprits in holding back investments that could help utilities serve customers better, cut costs, save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”