On this World Water Day, anyone interested in the future of U.S. water utilities should run (not walk) – to get a copy of the report The Digital Capabilities of US Water Utilities SmartMarket Brief by Dodge Data & Analytics and Bentley. It takes a detailed look at the readiness of municipal water systems to fully engage in digital transformation.
Recognizing the power of digital transformation is a first step.
According to the study, there is growing recognition within the industry that data and technology is the unambiguous answer to finding the efficiencies necessary to solve its enormous infrastructure and capital challenges. Encouragingly, nearly three quarters of the respondents reported that “they are in the process of digital transformation at their organization.”
According to the report, fully 87% of utilities surveyed are collecting data digitally in some form (though, caveat, half the utility respondents said they are gathering less than half the data they could be.)
Implementing digital transformation is more difficult for water utilities.
But recognizing the power of digitized data and beginning to capture data piecemeal is one thing. Having a comprehensive strategy to deploy data and the skills to analyze that data is something more complicated.
The report said that “90% claim their data is either isolated in disconnected IT systems, spreadsheets or paper records, which prevents effective operations and maintenance at their organization on occasion”. Also, “68% report that lack of visibility across stakeholders interferes with effective capital planning on occasion. Further, the report said nearly 80% “are concerned about the lack of internal staff with the necessary digital skills (74%) and resistance to change (70%).”
Technology and analytics partners are now within reach of water utilities, large and small.
Addressing the analytical and human side of the data conundrum is why Aquify exists. Our mission is to leverage Exelon’s utility expertise and resources to make these smart water technologies, machine learning software and real time data sensors affordable and accessible to water utilities across the US regardless of their size and location.
We don’t just bring the cold technology to utilities embarking on digital transformation. We bring the know-how and organization to make it all work as designed.