The Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) has released a discussion paper which focuses on the future of digitisation for the Australian and New Zealand water industries.
The paper, Harnessing the digital economy, suggests a four-part approach to ‘digital maturity’, which is structured from internal focus to an external focus.
The paper states that, “the internal approach starts with improving business maturity within business groups to establishing strong cross business integration, enhancing the interface with customers and suppliers, then finally leveraging tighter integration with the community and external agencies.
“Whilst these stages are comparable to a business maturity model, the difference is that digital technology is allowing these advances in maturity to occur with greater ease and rapidity than in the past.
Customers are starting to see many of these changes in businesses they interact with. Consequently, they are likely to expect and demand the outcomes that these advances can deliver from all of their service providers.”
The paper outlines the potential benefits of digitisation to help utilities optimise performance and improve customer service, as well as the challenges and risks associated with the digital age and how these can be managed.
The paper concludes with some discussion questions on strategic knowledge gaps for the industry to consider.
Addressing these will help optimally position the industry to embrace this exciting new era.
Following this paper, WSAA has developed a Digital Utility Roadmap which proposes a four-part approach to digital maturity.