SAP S4 HANA Market Boosting Digital Transformation in US Utility Sector by 2024

The advent of digital technologies and the resultant transformation has forced the traditional power utility sector to reinvent themselves and find alternative ways to sustain and stay competitive. Digital transformation is necessary for the energy and utility sector as it offers an opportunity to improve business-critical operations and create new business solutions and models. According to a recent analysis of AllTheResearch, a leading international research firm, decarbonization strategy (33%) and digital strategy (29%) are the key strategic initiatives of the energy & power utility sector that will attract over 60% of capital investments by the end of 2021.

The alpha level analysis of states that 53% of user stories fail while selecting the right tech partner who can help in achieving Digital Transformation in an agile and scientific manner. SAP has played a critical role in enabling DT for the energy and power sector for over a decade now. SAP S/4HANA, the next-generation SAP application suite, and the baseline foundation that SAP will continue to be develop and enhance in the future, supports utilities as they fully digitalize and work to remain competitive and relevant. The integration of SAP S4 HANA will drive the process efficiency and effectiveness of utility players. Process clusters like Customer Experience, Service Experience, Operational Experience, and Data Experience will be the key coordinates for the integration of Digital Transformation. Underpinning this, leading technology partners like Tech Mahindra, Accenture, ABB, Honeywell, and others will be key enablers for Utilities looking to tap into expert guidance and experience in implementing, expanding, or upgrading their existing SAP infrastructure.

In the US Utility sector, any upgrades of an existing installed SAP system need additional investment by definition. Additionally, any unforeseen outage or halt to operations during the upgrade process will impact the “cost of upgrade” and should be carefully considered and factored into the planning and budgeting process. This trend will witness friction from existing SAP HANA users, who may have believed that their initial projects/programs could continue into the future on “autopilot.” To address these points Technology Enablers/System Integrators will continue to play an important role in educating customers about the business value of SAP S4 HANA, and the importance of keeping business-enabling technology current. For example, cloning of databases can be used to tackle pain points and risk related to “operation halts” that could arise in connection with an upgrade.

Digital Transformation in the US Utility sector majorly revolves around critical technical parameters, including: Asset Monitoring, Asset Maintenance, Real-Time & Centralized Monitoring, Predictive Maintenance, and Condition-Based Monitoring. SAP S4 HANA along with the SAP Utility technology suite, can provide pin-pointed solutions against these parameters, both now and into the future. Given the stated position of SAP and its stated direction and plans for S4 HANA its future-proof foundation, the next 3 years presents a golden opportunity for Technology Enablers/System Integrators to tap into the upgrade cycles and emerging trends surrounding SAP S4 HANA.

It is imperative to understand the voice of customers, suppliers, and influencers while studying the dynamics of such a crucial paradigm shift. This whitepaper explores insights and analysis of these stakeholders. Correlation of these to penetration rates of SAP S4 HANA has also been examined in this whitepaper. Along with this, trend impacts on Strategy Makers and Operational Executives are explored and analyzed in this whitepaper. It also includes associated, relevant impacts on key utility sector processes like Asset Management, Smart Metering, and Billing.

While studying this integration trend, we are observing a different set of pain points and challenges by designations and key responsibilities area of Utility executives. To perform stakeholder-wise pain point analysis we have categorized personas into brackets like Strategic Designations and Operational Designations. As such, pain points and challenges in the US Utility sector have been broken down into the Personas and Value Chain position of companies, providing meaningful insight and take-aways to the reader.

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