IT Leaders should have stints of both Worlds

James M. Kensok, VP & CIO, Avista
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James M. Kensok, VP & CIO, Avista

Today, IT is leaving a staggering dent on the energy industry with its profound technological trends and tools that are reshaping the fundamentals and dynamics of this domain. In utility space, previously IT was focused merely on back office and customer’s bill and payment processes, but now IT has become adhered to operating technologies and administering generation, and distribution of the electricity. Going beyond the web, where consumers are getting unprecedented real time information of their energy utilities and consumption, the data related to products and customers collected by the companies is helping them in mitigating the over generation of resources. This distribution and generation of energy accompanied by critically integrated electrical gas utilities are defining the importance and imperativeness of our latest technologies and how they are streamlining the energy industry successfully.

Ascendancy of technology has reached to several other industries. Big Data, Social Media, Mobility and Cloud are some of the commendable tools and platforms, which various companies have incorporated in their arsenal to coherently, counter the latest challenges and obstacles. These trends have aligned the companies parallel to their customers, embedding them to their network of products and services that they have build and deliver. Analytics and support systems are also playing a key role in assessing customer’s demand and highlighting their primary needs as they extract better information from the users aggregated data.

Adequate solutions to Rising Challenges
Today, as our business world is driven by set of latest technologies, executives are also witnessing various challenges unrolling in the industry. These challenges have roared because of the unprecedented changes arising in the current paradigm. The foremost transformation in our industry, we have discerned that now every policies and approaches being made by companies are centered on customer’s data and their needs. They have become an important element of discussion in conference rooms for strategy formulation, product’s building and delivering activities. Another prominent challenge soared with this shift in industrial landscape pertains to future business prediction. It has become unfeasible for business experts to predict the business dynamics for imminent years and thus it is not considered as a reliable resource for building strategies for future anymore. If companies and leaders choose to follow a safe path and oppose change, they still have to deliver reliable infrastructure at the right cost to meet their consumer needs.

To find adequate solutions to heaping challenges, we as business and IT leaders, have to think and act fast. On strategic level, companies and board should look to hire entrepreneurs who not only have business background but also have technical background too to lead IT. At our firm, we have developed collaboration and implementation methodologies based on innovation and trust.

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