The Water Services Association of Australia recently completed a report titled “Harnessing the Digital Economy”. That report identified benefits, challenges and risks associated with digitalisation, these included;

Benefits

  • Efficiencies within each business unit
  • Integrated between business units
  • Enhancing the customer / supplier interface
  • Integrating with community

Challenges

  • Changing Customer Experience
  • Workplace culture
  • Valuing and securing data
  • Rapid technology development
  • Business Structure
  • Considering the whole asset chain
  • Procurement of digital technologies
  • Building business cases for the customer value
  • Collaborating with other businesses

Risks

  • A lack of clear direction – a disjointed approach
  • Cyber security
  • Skills shortages
  • Dark data
  • Regulations, governance and standards
  • Supplier dependence
  • Late adoption

That report developed a digital journey map for water utilities that included;

  • Prepare the business,
  • Efficiencies within business units,
  • Integrating between business units,
  • Enhancing the customer/ supplier interface,
  • Integrating with community.

WSAA “suggests a four-part approach to digital maturity which is structured from internal focus to an increasingly external focus). Potential benefits from digitalisation are achievable at each stage.” The WSAA approach has focused on the individual utility and their interaction with their suppliers and customers.

David Nixon has worked the water industry for over 30 years across a variety of utilities, engineering and business consultancies. David currently acts as director and advisor to a variety of organisations across Australia. david@nixonclarity.com

Credit: WSAA