IoT Solutions for Connected Energy & Utilities and Oil & Gas Industries | HCLTech


Operational Challenges

Operational challenges

The Energy & Utilities (E&U) and Oil & Gas (O&G) industries have traditionally been slower in adopting next-gen technologies such as IoT, including utilizing asset-generated data and IoT platforms, to enable connected enterprises to leverage real-time insights. However, the unique challenges and the changed circumstances in recent times are forcing organizations to revisit their operational models and introduce a greater degree of end-to-end visibility and decision-making powered by IoT sensors, platforms, and analytics dashboards that boost business transformation.

  • The operating margins of E&U businesses have been declining steadily as the industry continues to be plagued by increasing downtimes, glaring skill gaps that exist between field personnel and trained workforce, falling workforce, and asset utilization—resulting in lower quality of services—underlining the need to establish smart and connected mixed reality technology solutions.
  • A lack of relevant, real-time, and data-driven insights into operations is impacting asset health and performance. Aging infrastructures, poor asset reliability, and limited visibility into asset conditions result in fluctuating load patterns that ultimately affect power reliability.
  • The generated real-time insights get stored into silos, hampering utilization of OT-insights in building smart, AI-led predictive models that can deliver IoT-led optimization and efficiencies. Continued usage of paperwork, manual processes, and silo-ed software systems regularly drive down operational efficiencies.
  • Hazardous field operations increase human costs of inspection of assets located in dangerous terrains. Substitute inspection methods using helicopters are expensive and have resulted in accidents. Meanwhile, vegetation management and changing regulations are a significant cause of concern for the E&U industry as they bring in their massive wake penalties.
  • Frequent outages due to rising floods, storms, wildfires continue to hamper reliability, lowering resilience and quality of service delivery—with more than 73% of outages lasting between a few minutes to more than an hour, at least—thus stressing on the need to adopt IoT-led, next-gen technologies at the enterprise level, producing intelligent and smarter grids.
Our Proposition

Financial impact

The financial impact of outmoded operations, lack of real-time data-driven decision-making, and otherwise easily avoidable penalties put a massive strain on the bottom line of utilities and oil & gas businesses. AI/ML and deep-learning technology solutions, leveraging live insights and analytics across T&D networks and enterprises, can reverse this trend and improve profit margins.

  • US Utilities spend up to US$54 bn on aging infrastructure annually—rerouting loads through smartly identified, less utilized infrastructure can reduce the incidence of outages while bringing down costs drastically.
  • Field crew and helicopter-driven asset inspection methods and maintenance of T&D lines cost US Utilities about $6bn-$8bn annually on an average—combining drones and intelligent image analytics can be achieved at a fraction of the cost.
  • Penalties from wildfires caused due to vegetation encroachment on high power T&D lines can reach up to ~$30 bn+ in damages and maybe even leading to bankruptcy filings.
  • Approximately 400 Utilities in the US market are in one way or another amid grid modernization. They will establish ADMS test labs in a phased manner in the next few years—thus underlining the importance of maximizing utilization of ADMS platforms and precise, powerful ADMS testing approaches that can result in higher cost savings.
  • For critical organizations, like manufacturinghealthcaredata centers, outages can cost anywhere between US$100,000 to 300,000 for a single hour of downtime. Small franchises are worst hit, with 70% reporting losses. Therefore, financial losses are not just limited to Utilities and O&G industries, but also to the end customers. Smart, self-healing grids powered by IoT-led insights from the field can introduce end-to-end operational visibility, thus eliminating outages and improving service delivery.
The Impact

End-customer experience

For a primarily end-customer facing industry like E&U, their customer experience score is one of the lowest globally. This results from a combination of factors that include, but are not limited to, poor service delivery, low reliability and resilience, more frequent outages, and a lack of smart, connected, IoT-led technology solutions.

  • 64% healthcare, 52% data centers, and 53% of manufacturing organizations have expressed dissatisfaction with their Utilities service providers’ power reliability.
  • Natural calamities causing outages or disruptions in a specific area in the T&D network or along gas pipelines can result in extended outages, downtimes and impact customer satisfaction.
  • Customer expectations have risen dramatically supported by socio-economic shifts in demographics and lifestyles—reliable “always-on” electricity is a minimum qualifier—can only be achieved through real-time actionable data, driven by next-gen technologies, available at all times.
  • Real-time, data-driven, testing interventions ensure that the distribution and outage management systems need to be robust enough to stand up to stress from the heavy load—based on real-time insights—thus delivering reliability and resilience in the face of dynamic environmental conditions.

Our propositions

Driving transformation at scale with measurable outcomes