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White paper

Active asset management: enabling utilities to gain a competitive edge

As one of the most asset-intensive industries in the world, utilities face the constant challenge of maintaining, repairing and replacing their assets, along with meeting new or changing demand. Despite many organizations practicing good asset management, the future is becoming more challenging. In the midst of this change, utilities have the chance to turn these challenges into opportunities that can improve efficiency and cost savings across the entire asset life cycle.

This paper demonstrates how organizations that choose to adopt active asset management and an optimized network utility model can align, optimize and re-optimize their asset plans in near real-time to relieve ever-changing regulatory and stakeholder pressures, achieve operational excellence and increase customer satisfaction.

CGI believes that embracing active asset management is integral to successfully managing the energy transition and transforming into an Optimized Network Utility (ONU). Evolving into an ONU is a journey that includes adopting an enterprise-wide approach to asset management and operating using three key organizational shifts:

  • The holistic view
    In the past, managing assets and network operations were two totally separate concepts. But in today’s digital world, everything is connected. With the growth in renewables, and consumers generating their own energy, there is a move away from centralized networks toward distributed networks. This means network utilities need to bring together energy supplies from a range of sources and distribute them efficiently. In this more complex landscape, utilities will need decentralized intelligent assets to manage the twoway flow of both energy and information. Utility leaders recognize that to control the flow of energy, they need to achieve this holistic mindset. 
  • Trialling technology
    A key part of the ONU journey is embracing risk in small, controlled ways, progressively rolling out new technologies and measuring their impact and ROI. This can mean modernizing the systems that are already in place, or trying new ones, on an ongoing, small-scale basis. By running pilot schemes using new technology, utilities will be able to envision what added value they can achieve. At the same time, they can build knowledge and flexibility, which will help them better understand and manage assets.
  • An end-to-end approach
    New data streams represent a huge opportunity for utilities, but only if they are fully integrated. Utilities are harnessing digital technologies by uniting their operational technology (OT) with their IT, and gathering information from other digital initiatives such as smart meters, sensors and IoT. The key to achieving an end-to-end approach is to ensure that silos are broken, so that data can flow through the organization, all the way to the decision makers.