The digitisation of utilities is the greatest challenge currently facing the sector, with much to do to modernise existing networks, work practices and ways of interacting with customers. But it’s also an area of great excitement and opportunity for those utilities willing to be brave, and step boldly into a new paradigm.
An effective digital strategy can revolutionise all areas of the utility sector, and embracing new technologies and business models is vital for optimising asset management, improving network operations and keeping up with changing customer demands.
At Digital Utilities 2019, delegates will hear from the industry’s leaders — those who are taking the action required to turn their organisations into modern, dynamic utilities, equipped to provide customers with the services they expect, at the times they demand and at a price they are prepared to pay.
The best way to ensure your organisation moves with the times, and establishes itself as a utility the modern consumer wants to do business with, is to learn from the best at Digital Utilities.
A world-class lineup of speakers announced
Put together by the knowledgeable team at Utility magazine, with a strong emphasis on providing useful information and creating genuine discussion around topical issues, the conference program will provide delegates with the tools needed to implement digital technologies that will accelerate and transform their organisations.
The expert speaker lineup will feature Managing Directors, Chief Information Officers and Heads of Digital at Australia’s major water and energy utilities, as well as digitisation experts and government representatives.
Day one of the conference will run as a plenary session, with a single program of speakers and networking sessions to provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of digital transformation within the utility sector.
The Digital Utilities 2019 keynote will be delivered by international speaker Nigel Watson, Group Information Services Director at the UK-based Northumbrian Water.
Responsible for the innovation strategy and execution across the organisation, Mr Watson has significant experience adapting networks to new and emerging digital technologies, with the overall ambition of making Northumbrian Water the most digital water company in the world.
As the international keynote speaker, Mr Watson will outline some of the changes currently underway within Northumbrian Water, and provide valuable lessons for Australian utilities already on, or about to commence, their own digital transformation journeys.
Other first round confirmed speakers include Cate Hilliard, Manager, IT Capital Portfolio, SA Power Networks; Matthew Grantham, Sales and Business Development Executive, Power Ledger; Wayne Pales, General Manager for Technology Strategy at the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and a Board Director for C4NET and The Chapel Group, with many more and the full program to be announced in the coming months.
Journalist and presenter, Anthony Caruana, will also be returning as MC. Anthony’s ability to add snippets of industry knowledge and resonate with each speaker rated highly with many of this year’s attendees.
Other highlights from day one include a panel discussion on cyber security, which will explore utility network vulnerabilities and data protection strategies; and a speed networking session, where delegates are guaranteed introductions to at least ten colleagues within the industry as a way of facilitating collaboration and knowledge sharing.
On day two of the conference, the presentations will be divided into four streams:
- The connected customer — staying relevant in a changing world
- A new core — unleashing the digital potential in utility operations
- Innovation in electricity networks — building the grid of the future
- The smart water utility — improving water management
- These streams will enable a more targeted discussion of the key trends and issues emerging within the utility sector as a result of digitisation.
The industry night of nights
Digital Utilities 2019 will also be host to the 2019 Digital Utility Awards which will be awarded at a gala dinner and awards ceremony at the end of day one of the conference.
Building on the success of 2018’s inaugural awards, an additional two categories have been added to the original four awards. The Digital Utility of the Year award has been split into energy and water to reflect the different challenges faced in these sectors, and there is now an award dedicated to the young person demonstrating outstanding performance and passion for achieving digital transformation within their utility.
Six awards will be presented, in the following categories:
- Digital Utility of the Year – Energy
- Digital Utility of the Year – Water
- Utility Innovator of the Year
- Young Digital Leader of the Year
- Best Use of New Technology
- Best Customer Innovation
The Digital Utility Awards are a chance for innovative organisations to stand out and showcase their expertise to the rest of the utility industry, and be nationally recognised as a utility leader.
The awards also have benefits for the rest of the industry, with the aim to gather some of the best ideas when it comes to the digitisation of utilities, so that everyone can learn from some of the impressive changes that are being made.
The nominations will be judged by a panel of industry experts, who will be announced shortly. Entries can be submitted online at www.digitalutilities.com.au/awards/enter.
Australia’s leading digital utility event
The utility industry is on the cusp of a transformation driven by technological advances, decreasing energy intensity, heightened environmental awareness, and evolving customer expectations.
As digitally-enabled, behind-the-meter energy generation increasingly impacts utility operations, effective two-way communication with customers will assume added importance.
Most utility executives are also keenly aware that digital technologies, when properly implemented, can improve cost efficiency and performance. Automating tasks and processes end-to-end through software reduces costs significantly, and smart systems allow assets to continuously communicate with the backoffice, allowing utilities to identify and manage failure risks before they occur.
The difficulty lies in how to actually plan and execute these digital strategies, and the consequences of getting it wrong can be huge.
Digital Utilities provides a platform for utility leaders to share and discuss the challenges of digital transformation, and learn from those already seeing the benefits.
Digital Utilities has been created using the unique Monkey Media events philosophy. Having already established a reputation for delivering the best magazines in the industries we publish for, including Utility and Energy, our events build on the magazines and bring the best parts about them — thought-leading content, insightful news and developments, and opinion pieces from the industry’s best — to life.
Monkey Media events provide professionals with unrivalled opportunities to learn from experts within their field, and enhance their connections with other professionals and organisations that are working towards similar goals. Monkey Media only organise events in the industries we are already active in, and we offer generous discounts on ticket prices to qualified utility professionals who will genuinely benefit from attending our events.
Based on their experience at our inaugural event, Digital Utilities 2018, 71 per cent of delegates said they were likely or extremely likely to attend future events. Almost 80 per cent of delegates also said they were likely or extremely likely to recommend Digital Utilities to a friend or colleague.
Digital Utilities is the must-attend event for utility professionals working at all levels within the industry, from Chief Executive Officers, Managing Directors and utility board members, to Chief Information Officers and their teams, all the way through to Heads of Innovation and New Technologies, and Digital Managers.
Digital is inevitable for all companies in the utility sector. There are always winners and losers with any major change — the question is, will your business be at the forefront of the digital revolution, or will you be left behind?
Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.
After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.