You decide. Energy Transformation or Disruption? A tipping point.

The whole energy system is awaking to the significant impact that digital is having on its transition towards a different level of energy management.

The industrial internet of things (IIoT) has been accelerating in its use and recognition of what the digital enterprise is meaning. They recognized that organizations that deploy data and technology are recognizing the advantage of continuously evolving all aspects of their business model in its efficiency, effectiveness and value impacts.

The increased emphasis on digitalization has enabled a different level of connected value. Today, digital momentum is beginning to have the same level of impact in the energy world, we are crossing the digital tipping point.

When you have the ability in design to optimise entire value chains from product design and development through production and post-sale service the ability to gain agility, flexibility, time-to-market and connected individual units into a collective whole to give real-time visibility, you are managing your assets in radically different ways than in the past.

The Energy sector has been slow to recognize the benefits of digitalization.

Most probably what suddenly has begun to drive a new focus on digitalization has been three aspects of 1) energy-specific disruptions, 2) business disruption and 3) digital disruption is going to change the business model. Digital solutions can be a significant enabler of smoothing out these disruptions.

In my opening and a quick snapshot of who offers digital services

Initially, I think Schneiders, followed by Rockwell Automation, Fujitsu, GE Ameresco and ABB have been front runners in offering digitalization into parts of the energy system. Then you also have Honeywell, Johnson Controls, Bosch, Con Edison and others. Still I need to investigate further to get a more comprehensive understanding here and pick up on how I might have missed.

The one that is surprising due to their significant service contracts business is Siemens Energy on the lack of their digital offerings to take their offering further.  They are beginning to realize the potential and beginning to make significant progress in moving towards a more holistic digital offering for energy.  Still I need to investigate further to get a more comprehensive understanding here.

The shifts by all energy solution providers have been on how to develop an Internet of Energy and the offerings are taking shape. I plan to look at some of these specifically in further posts here in the months ahead from my investigations and ability to extract a level of clarity from these energy digital providers.

Taking Siemens Energy first

In my opinion, Siemens Energy has been surprisingly slow to recognize this digital potential when it has a high pedigree of digital expertise within its industrial business.

Siemens Energy is beginning to articulate their digitalization efforts in their recently published documents I have seen. Still, I would certainly feel they will need to significantly add a greater shape to this part of their energy portfolio.

In reviewing the recent key documents from Siemens Energy, digital seems still fairly aspirational but is certainly recognized by the new management as core to their future offerings.

Siemens will need to run hard, invest significantly to catch up in offering a robust set of digital offerings within their portfolio. Still, they should have the digital credentials to achieve that due to their Siemens AG relationships on long-term service arrangements.

To be fair,  Siemens Energy has only recently separated as its own entity, and you are seeing this digitalization emerging as one of their future focus areas.

As they have in place several long-term service contracts into Siemens AG, which house much of the digital expertise, this acceleration and focus might be fairly rapid. How that translates into a clear set of digital offerings will emerge in the next twelve months, I am sure.

Siemens single out Data Analytics & Artificial Intelligence, providing Digital Twins through the provision of augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality offerings and a clear focus on cybersecurity as their initial core.

All of these have been core tenants of Siemens AG, so Siemens Energy should be able to ramp up their offerings fairly fast from that expertise available to them in their service agreements.

Siemens Energy states it aims is to become a data-driven company. This will be achieved by creating “value through digitalization, automation and connectivity” according to recent documents. Their value proposition is claimed as “the combining of the domain and digital expertise, they will increase the value of their offerings to the benefit of our customers”.

Siemens Energy sees this digital value across all businesses as digitalization facilitates new and promising approaches for new ways of working, data-based business models and technology-based services such as remote operations, remote services among its services.

Siemens plan to further work closely with their customers to make
specific use of data-driven technologies to maximize performance throughout product and equipment life cycles, and also to protect their customers’ facilities through comprehensive cybersecurity.

Another focus area in their emerging digitalization offering will be in advances intelligent monitoring and analysis of much of their gas and oil turbine fleet offering increased service conditions as well as smart diagnostic services.

As the service aspects of Siemens Energy are planned to be a significant revenue generator, the rapid deployment of scalable digitalized services needs a “comprehensive story.”

Siemens seems to be gearing itself to a significant push into digitalization offerings and do have a very comprehensive resource to draw from, Digital Industries from Siemens AG in the coming years.

What is lacking at present from Siemens Energy is a comprehensive paper on digitalization outlining their ambitions, investments, dedicated structure and the clarity of how digital solutions will be managed in existing and future solutions in ways that will certainly raise clients interest. To make a serious statement of intent, they need to give this area of their portfolio a clear, well-articulated focus.

For all future energy digital solution providers, there are multiple impact points to leverage. To list a number here:

These include significant ramping up of different services, dedicated applications and offering data platforms and cloud services to clients.

There is a growing need for those energy solution providers to build put a more comprehensive offering across the energy supply chain. These need to articulate solutions that can offer

  • Transactional growth repair service business
  • Increased productivity detection, automation, field transformation, connectivity,
  • Push software updates, network building dashboard management, energy monitoring and controls, troubleshooting
  • Harmonization through developing a more comprehensive digital set of solutions that manage energy flows, inputs and outputs
  • Risk reduction- standardise, improve data being proactive, drive field actions, cybersecurity, Optimise assets, secure assets.
  • Assets under management, deploying lifecycle engagement and validation.

The impact of focusing digitalization services specifically into the Energy System is going to have a significant expansion in the coming years.

There is a growing need for those energy solution providers to build put a more comprehensive offering across the energy supply chain. These need to articulate solutions that can offer

In the months to come, I will delve deeper into digital in the energy system as it will become even more of a very significant part of the energy transition being undertaken.





Author: @paul4innovating

A transition advocate for innovation, ecosystems, and digitalization for the energy and IIoT systems

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