6 reasons to select a platform based approach for workforce management
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- Nov 6, 2020 3:30 am GMTNov 6, 2020 3:53 am GMT
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One area the events of 2020 has shown us, is the need to innovate and enact change quickly across your utility.
However, challenges abound in technology transformation across infrastructure, vendor alignment, data volumes and a myriad of complexity driven from years of technology investment. So how achieve this and select a technology toolset that will deliver results reflective of today’s environment? This is where a platform differentiates itself.
For technology to support your workforce transformation initiatives at your utility, a platform based approach is a key to success. Here are 6 reasons to select a platform and the benefits in doing so.
Large IT transformations are being put off in the current climate, which has been reflected in the stocks of some of the largest players in the market. More on that here
That means that lower cost, faster ROI, and agile platforms are needed. Utilities are not standing still. Platforms that offer a “no code” approach allow business user teams to prove or disprove a theory before spending time putting a business case together. This agility allows utility business leaders to continue to meet their KPI’s.
Beyond validating a business process, the platform needs to be able to scale to cater for workloads when it is rolled out to your workforce of office and field based teams. The term tactical but strategic comes into play here.
2. Value and Budget
No longer can utility business leaders be expected to pay for licences that they do not need, a year in advance. The per user seat is a legacy enterprise licence model but as cloud vendors have shown, being able to add or remove licences is commonplace. There are still cases today where utilities talk about software solutions that they cannot afford to add users to, which are key to their operations and the licence model is not cost effective with their peaks and troughs of work volumes.
Licensing different ways is gradually becoming more apparent, such as by assets, clients, crews, or users. A good platform will provide this flexibility, including modelling scenarios for their customer to extract the best value.
Consider platforms that have modules that can be turned on and off as they are explored and vendor support is available through that journey. A true value added partnership between vendor and customer.
In today’s environment of remote work, the ability for a business unit to be empowered by enabling themselves independently is crucial. Adhering to utility organisational architectural governance and security has also increased with distributed locations and is the balance that a platform provides for.
Being IT compliant but autonomous as a team is becoming fast the norm today.
To quote Mckinsey on platforms here: “They operate as independent entities that bring together business, technology, governance, processes, and people management and are empowered to move quickly”.
Utilities collect and utilise different data sets and with this wealth of information, sharing these insights within the business can provide a new level of value to your customers.
Beyond just visualizing the data, consider how utility business leaders can act on these insights. An abnormal reading has come in from a piece of equipment in the field that has IoT sensor connectivity. Aside from being made aware of this situation, consider how operations teams can automate the investigation such as dispatching a crew to investigate or automating another workflow to another system.
When looking for benefits consider customers SLA’s, GSL’s, operational KPI’s and financial penalties when building a business case. Furthermore, this can feed into potential future business models and collaboration externally with customers and suppliers.
5. Real time data
Smart phones have been around in varying forms for more than 15 years and the expectation of customers, suppliers and staff has shifted to the “need it now” model. This has driven behavioral change from the consumer world into the business world. For example, “I can see what my friend is having for breakfast now at the tap of a screen but I have to drive to a depot to find out where I’m working today”
Imagine having access to data straight from the source, immediately. The power of that data and the insights it offers for decision making. A customer experience (positive or negative) is updated from the field and within minutes or hours can be addressed, not days or weeks when it can fester.
Leveraging toolsets to uncover deeper insights at utilities. This could be across customers, assets, infrastructure and more. Applying algorithms to these that look for patterns and behaviors, so utilities can deliver greater value.
Strategic decisions can be supported by a new level of intelligence and learning. Imagine the benefits of being able to predict outcomes based on the likelihood of applying certain scenarios such as weather events, overlaid with your data without spendind weeks creating a business case that could be rejected.
Delivering results and showcasing value through change has increased in priority, even more so during 2020 at utilities. A platform approach allows the flexibility and capability to do this across business processes, IT infrastructure and multiple vendor stacks to come together.