Annually, CGI leaders around the world meet face-to-face with business and IT executives to gather their perspectives on the trends affecting their enterprises, including business and IT priorities, IT spending, budgets and investment plans. In 2020, we conducted in-person interviews with 97 client executives in the electricity, water and waste management and downstream gas sectors, who indicate a greater focus on new market readiness. Interviews were conducted before and after the pandemic declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020, providing unique insights into evolving priorities. We provide a short summary of some of these insights below and in the PDF available for download on this page.

New market mechanisms is top trend

New market mechanisms and their associated regulations rise to become the most impactful trend for utilities, surpassing the need to digitalize for customers and growth.

Other top trendssuch as cybersecurity, optimizing operational costs and assets and changing business and operating models for distributed energy resourceslessen in impact due to the rise of regulatory compliance and new market mechanisms, but their order remains consistent with 2019.

2020 top trends by impact

  1. Assure regulatory compliance and prepare for new market mechanisms
  2. Become digital organizations to meet customer expectations and grow
  3. Protect through cybersecurity
  4. Optimize operational costs and assets
  5. Change business and operating models to address distributed energy resources


Post-pandemic declaration trends show rise in protecting through cybersecurity

When comparing interviews before and after the pandemic declaration by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020, cybersecurity as a trend rises in impact (+19%) while changing business and operating models for distributed energy lessens (-41%).

Results from digital strategies can improve

This year, 90% of utilities executives report they have some form of a digital strategy in place (down from 92% in 2019), and 10% are producing results from those strategies. Additionally, 43% indicate they have an enterprise-wide strategy, but just 18% report having an enterprise strategy that extends to their external ecosystem.

Few cite having highly agile business models for digitization

Only 12% say their business model is highly agile when it comes to addressing digitization (score of 8 or higher on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 the highest), the same percentage as in 2019.

Interest in substantial managed services is on the rise

This year we asked utilities executives to share why they use managed services and how they plan to leverage them. The top reasons are to save costs and maintain control. When comparing responses year over year, there is a slight rise in 2020.

% planning to leverage substantial managed applications in 3 years
45% 2020
37% 2019

Benchmarking clients’ satisfaction with their own IT organization

Utilities IT satisfaction chart 2020

(Scores from 1 to 10, with 10 most satisfied, showing 3 out of 10 available attributes)

For the third year, business and IT executives interviewed ranked their satisfaction with their own IT organizations based on the 10 key attributes of a world-class IT organization. For most attributes, business leaders report lower satisfaction levels with their internal IT compared to IT leaders.

Learn more about the 2020 CGI Client Global Insights.

Learn more about CGI in Utilities.

Speak with a CGI expert

To consult with one of our industry experts to learn more about client insights and CGI’s perspectives on business and technology trends, contact us.