In the energy and utilities industry, the cloud is being recognized as a critical tool for transforming business operations beyond the framework of IT. Enterprises now view cloud technologies as a vital component for not only modernizing tech operations, but gaining valuable market insights, enabling greater agility, and driving sustainability efforts. Energy and utilities companies’ approach to adopting cloud technologies has been deliberate and purpose-driven, and their initiatives are delivering benefits across their organizations.
However, according to recent Wipro FullStride Cloud Services research, the industry in general is still working toward taking full advantage of what the cloud has to offer, and it has achieved lower levels of cloud maturity in comparison to other industries. But this appears to be changing, with significant numbers of energy and utilities companies now accelerating their cloud journeys.
The research has gauged the progress companies have made in four key areas: establishing cloud-based data centers, migrating core processes to the cloud, modernizing core processes, and using cloud-native applications. To provide more insight into the specifics of the industry’s efforts, the research identifies three categories of companies’ cloud maturity: beginners, intermediates (or advancers), and leaders.
The industry has a lower percentage of cloud leaders and intermediates relative to other industries and, accordingly, a higher percentage of beginners that are in the early stages of cloud maturity. Leaders are those that have made progress across a broad range of areas, including cybersecurity, transmission and distribution, and market analysis. They have also seen higher increases in revenue (4.36% vs. 3.95% for beginners) and better ROI (98% vs. 35%), and they have high expectations for future benefits in many areas, including better use of capital, increased revenue, and accelerated time to market. Although energy and utilities companies are typically larger than other organizations covered in Wipro’s cloud research, their spending on cloud initiatives trails that of other industries, both in absolute dollars ($592.3 million vs. $731.6 million) and as a percentage of revenue (2.43% vs. 3.45%). In addition, these companies as a whole spend less of their IT budgets on the cloud than firms in other industries (5% vs. 6%).
The insights shared in this report are based on a survey conducted for Wipro between June and September 2021 by ThoughtLab to analyze the current and future patterns of enterprise-level cloud adoption. The overall respondents were organizations ranging in size from less than $5 billion in annual revenue to more than $20 billion, with the largest share in the midsized category. The survey included 108 utility companies and 115 oil and gas companies located in Australia, France, Germany, Switzerland, the U.K., and the U.S. The largest portion of respondents were chief technology officers, (16%) followed by chief executive officers and chief operations officers (both 13%), heads of business units (11%) and chief financial officers (9%). The remainder included chiefs of digital, strategy, information, innovation, products, or cloud activities.
To calculate cloud maturity, we analyzed each company to determine the cloud progress it is making, the percentage of applications it operates in the cloud , and the number of advanced technologies it uses in conjunction with the cloud. Based on those criteria, we classified 14% of oil and gas respondents as cloud leaders, 43% as intermediates (or advancers), and 43% as beginners. Among utilities respondents, 13% were leaders, 45% were intermediates, and 42% were beginners.