Today’s employees expect their employers to be digital…are you?

  • Posted on June 20, 2016

digital workplace for utilities

The following blog post was written by Avanade alum Jacob Parsons.

A recent Avanade smart-tech survey shows that 91% of businesses believe that their organization’s workforce will “need to change substantially as smart technologies become more widely used.”

In utilities, we all hear about a retiring workforce (up to 50% in the next 5 years in certain areas), shrinking tribal knowledge and antiquated systems that, in some cases, may not have been significantly upgraded in a generation.  These are the more obvious drivers towards change, and digital technologies will help utilities embrace these changes to find new ways of doing business, and even new business models.

One article on utility CEO views around the new normal shows just how far some utilities are going to change what and how they sell to their customers.  Doing so will also require a different mindset and culture in many cases.  And so the people part of the equation becomes a key area of focus.  What types of skills – what types of people – will drive your utility’s success in the future?

One thing I would say is that they are and will be increasingly tech-savvy.  For example, whereas once digital and social media were considered personal-time activities, Generation Y workers see these as part of everyday life, and employers who ban them from social media run the risk of not becoming places they would ever go work.

Thus, the human dimension of going digital is extremely critical because this generation’s workforce is the first to grow up with the Internet in full form, taking for granted smart phones, the Cloud, mobile computing, apps and other innovations.  That means that prospective high-quality employees expect prospective high-quality employers, including utilities, to be appropriately digital.

In a recent article from an industry veteran at one of the world’s largest electric utilities, the author observes that, “Your technology choices and the choice to ‘go digital’ in your plant operations will not only determine how efficient and effective you can become… [they] will also contribute to attracting and retaining the right talent.”

To respond to this challenge -- and opportunity -- the question then becomes, “What is your utility doing to become the digital workplace of the future?”  And what does that mean in terms of changes to people, processes, and technology?  Check out our latest digital workforce check list below for ideas on how your utility can help develop and support your employees to meet the future.

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