Software // Enterprise Applications
News
9/8/2006
04:05 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Energy & Utilities: Deregulation, Record Demand, And High Prices Challenge Utilities

Web services, CRM, and BI tools are helping companies improve customer service and roll out new products and services.

Record heat waves, blackouts that hit both coasts, excessive demand for electricity, and rising prices for oil and natural gas have made this a rough year for energy companies and utilities. They're turning to technologies such as Web services, CRM, and business intelligence tools to better understand their customers, improve service, and roll out new products and services.

Regulatory shackles also are being relaxed, which is spurring a wave of mergers and acquisitions. How well companies use technology to get an edge on their competitors may help determine the industry's winners and losers.

While IT investment as a percentage of revenue slipped to 2.1% from 2.5% last year, 60% of the energy and utility execs surveyed by InformationWeek say they expect to increase their IT spending, with a focus on boosting operational efficiency and developing more effective field service. And to unleash data hidden in legacy applications, 60% have widely deployed business intelligence tools, and 70% have widely deployed Web services.

A key effort is to manage power usage, rather than just deliver it, using technology such as smart meters, which provide information on when energy is being used. With that data, energy providers can work with customers to reduce power usage during peak times when prices are highest. Air conditioners, for example, could be turned down a few degrees during the hottest times of the day.

At No. 8, Xcel Energy is ranked highest among InformationWeek 500 energy and utility companies.

Budget Breakdown

Tech Innovation

Inside Energy & Utilities
2.1% of Industry's Annual Revenue Devoted to IT
34% of IT Budget Devoted to New Projects
60% of Companies Expecting 2006 IT Spending to Exceed 2005


Business Change
25% Creating New Products/Services for Customers in 2006
45% with Global Supply Chain
35% Deploying Business Intelligence Tools to Raise Productivity



Return to the 2006 InformationWeek 500 homepage

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014
InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A roundup of the top stories and community news at InformationWeek.com.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.