Expert's Take on Three Questions
Miki Deric is Managing Director, Accenture, North American Transmission and Distribution Lead.
In December 2018, Public Utilities Fortnightly conducted the PUF Year-End Survey of Utility Operations and Digitization. Respondents answered eleven questions on the challenges facing utilities in improving operational efficiency, integrating new technologies and protecting service delivery from cyber and other threats. Here, PUF asks an industry expert to evaluate how respondents answered three of the questions and offer his take-aways.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: Many of the survey respondents said that their utility's greatest challenges in developing digital capabilities are existing culture, talent and systems (survey question 3). What's your take?
Miki Deric: This is essentially what we hear from clients. They trust the processes and systems they've built over decades to operate safely and efficiently using strong engineering practices. So, it's not surprising to see a measured approach to fully embracing digital. But we are starting to see progress.
For example, if I go back to when utilities started automating reclosers, they used to send crews to make sure they operated. Control room operators didn't trust information that came back from the field that wasn't physically verified. They didn't believe that you should operate these remotely because something could go wrong.