2024 Energy Industry Trend Predictions from the UDC Team

UDC crystal ball 2024 trend predictions

Many of the trending topics we see in the energy utility space today revolve around grid modernization, advanced technologies, and providing clean and safe energy. As a utility service and solution provider, we understand the importance of an enterprise approach to meeting related industry challenges and becoming an advanced, digital utility. Our focus for 2024 will be helping utilities maximize their digital investments for streamlined utility operations and increased enterprise interoperability supporting safe, efficient, sustainable, and reliable services to their communities, customers, and employees.

We’re excited to share our 2024 Industry Trend Predictions from members of our team.

Karen Smith, Director of Strategic Business Development

Karen Smith headshot

Enterprise Technology Adoption

In 2024, utilities will break through the silos (whether people, departments, data, or systems) and achieve digital transformation at the enterprise level. This includes adopting advances in technology, employing teams with diverse knowledge, improving data quality and currency through digital survey and imagery, and deploying effective mobile applications at the enterprise level. The shift to agile will disrupt the procurement process and the supply chain will no longer be rewarded for selecting the ‘low cost’ leader. The winners will make the transition from traditional commodity operator to technology-driven digital utility.

Tom Helmer, Executive Solution Architect

Tom Helmer, Executive Solution Architect headshot

Maximizing ADMS through Digital Investments

In 2024, utilities will continue to make investments in GIS software and data and other systems of record data to drive the ADMS model build process required to support the ADMS’s advanced applications, such as FLISR and VVO. I believe utility investments in field data collection will begin picking up speed this year as utilities realize they need to keep their systems updated with accurate information to build the real-time network model in the ADMS for its high-value advanced applications to use.

I also see an increase in ADMS investments beyond SCADA and OMS, as utilities want the functionality that ADMS advanced applications bring to help them manage their complex power grids and reach their zero carbon footprint goals.

Supporting Asset Management with Imagery and AI Condition Assessments

Many utilities have already invested in fix wing plane, drone, and satellite imagery. Now, we’ll see a trend in utilities looking to AI vendors to harvest that history of imagery and turn it into asset condition trending information that can be used to drive their investments.

Migrating to Cloud Technology

GIS vendors have invested millions in refactoring and porting their products to microservices to become true cloud native products that can leverage the modern-day elasticity of cloud container deployments. 2024 will see an increase in cloud native GIS architectures as a result.

As more of the utility digital enterprise delivery resource management (EDRM) portfolio moves to the cloud, the high value integrations need to be updated. Investments in cloud native integration and streaming software products with increase in 2024, as it is efficient to use these cloud native tools to update the EDRM suite of integrations.

Increasing Intelligent Line Sensor Devices along Feeders

For utilities that want to use the advanced ADMS applications sooner than their supporting systems of record (SORs) will allow with an optimized power system network model, they are targeting portions of their network and investing in a large number of line sensors to drive the ADMS’ distribution state estimator and run the other ADMS advanced applications based on field measurements.

Ron Yoshimura, Principal Consultant

Ron Yoshimura, Principal Consultant headshot

Mapping UN Data to ADMS

In 2024, I see many utilities currently using Esri GIS migrating from the geometric network to the ArcGIS Utility Network. Downstream applications such as ADMS, which use GIS data as the source for the ADMS Network Model, will need to be updated as a result. The ADMS application that extracts the GIS data will need to be reconfigured to access and extract Utility Network data. To do this correctly, a Data Engineering workshop should be held. The purpose of the workshop is to map the new Utility Network source data to the ADMS network model schema.

Eric Bishop, Executive Account Manager

Eric Bishop, Executive Account Manager headshot

Employing an Enterprise Imagery Manager

The adoption of newer imagery management platforms by energy utilities will empower them to leverage their various imagery sources as an extension of their existing enterprise information and technology (IT) and GIS investments. Preparing to do so, utility organizations will be prioritizing the role of an enterprise imagery manager as well as the deployment of artificial intelligence and machine learning to maximize the technological and business benefits derived from their imagery data sets. An increase in the amount of data providers makes this space very dynamic with changes happening quickly in 2024!

TJ Houle, VP Solutions Engineering

TJ Houle, VP Solutions Engineering headshot

Increasing Integrations Enterprise-wide

The increasing usage of distributed energy resources and the move to decarbonization is going to drive the development of different methods to model, analyze, and capture data for utilities in 2024. These new networks will require the integration of many existing enterprise/OT technologies (GIS, ADMS, OMS) as well as the addition of new capabilities (DERMS, Storage, etc.).

Read more thought leadership from our team, or contact us to learn more.