Decarbonization in the Utilities industry will become more than aspirational. The U.S. stimulus package and the Paris Agreement will work together to force change in electricity generation. Many Utility CIOs are just beginning to understand the impact these changes will have on their strategies and roadmaps.

The growing trend toward electric vehicles (EVs) will accelerate and make Utilities scramble to maintain grid stability. When the demand for fast charging grows beyond just a scattering of the existing EV charging stations, it will create huge draws on the grid. Unfortunately, this demand typically hits during current periods of peak demand, which further exacerbates the challenge.

An aging workforce and a wave of retiring experts will force Utilities to reconsider their service provider ecosystems. Co-sourcing is an approach that blends resources in agile delivery teams, but accountability will remain an essential requirement. Utilities will need to spend time in 2022 finding solutions and relationships that bridge agility and accountability.

Oil & Gas

Oil & Gas companies are taking a hard look at how they can transform their energy portfolios to decarbonize, increase value and prepare for increasingly stringent regulations. The energy company of the future will need to embrace engineering technology to solve business problems. This will require the deliberate convergence of operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT).  

Digital transformation will continue to be a top priority for Oil & Gas companies. A strategic digital journey will include thoughtful implementation of digital technologies – including analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data sets. And if that’s not enough, companies will also need to prioritize cybersecurity and wise cloud adoption in 2022.

An aging workforce and an inability to attract technical talent will force Oil & Gas leaders to make hard decisions about what skills they want to keep in house, what services they want to outsource, and which partners they wish to engage in a strategic relationship.

Chemicals, Metals & Mining

Chemical, Metals and Mining companies are also facing a future that calls for a new engineering paradigm. Evolving security needs and the demands of modern operations will force companies to carefully stitch OT and IT together be more agile and build teams that work collaboratively. A focus on engineering services will be a growth engine for Chemical and Mining companies in 2022.

Chemical companies are leveraging AI and machine learning with big data sets to optimize business operations and product development. Building and maintaining smart plants will require advanced technologies and analytic platforms like AWS, Azure and SAP S/4HANA and edge network computing with 5G. This will be an essential part of bringing together data, analytics, and IoT connected technology on the platform – enabling safe and productive chemical and mining operations.

About the authors

Bob Lutz

Bob leads the ISG Utilities Industry Unit and is a technology centered solution development and operations leader with deep experience in business process outsourcing, shared services, managed services, vendor management, technology outsourcing, integration, cloud computing and SaaS. For client engagements, Bob is responsible for the quality of client deliverables, client satisfaction, project status management and reporting, recommendation and implementation approach development, implementation management, and governance matters.

Korey Barnard

As the leader of the ISG Data and Analytics Service Line for the Americas, Korey Barnard brings over 20 years of experience in advisory and management roles.
His strong analytical, communication and evaluation skills produce quick understandings of his clients’ needs, effective direction and recommendations. Korey is an experienced advisor in the construction and evaluation of complex global service delivery alternatives. Korey offers expertise in all aspects of evaluations ranging from front-end internal cost analysis, contract structuring and negotiation, service transition management and contract financial management. Korey has worked with several global and regional clients spanning across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America in many industries.

Jon Brock

Mr. Brock is an internationally recognized expert on best practices in utility business process and technology, with extensive experience in helping top global companies redefine themselves. Jon’s expertise spans a wide range of disciplines, including strategic planning, business development, operations, product management, process re-engineering, organizational restructuring, benchmarking, regulatory/testimony, financial analysis and strategic alliances. He is known as a seasoned, confident communicator who is able to inspire positive change, empower cohesive teams, and maintain an extensive network of executive-level partner and client relationships.

Danielle Burkhart

Danielle Burkhart is a results focused energy industry leader with 30 years of experience in a variety of financial, business development and technical roles, where she has honed her expertise in upstream oil and gas and global energy strategy. 

Dale Hearn

Over the past decade with ISG, Dale has shared with clients his expertise in corporate finance, strategic planning and technical operations, including scope-of-work and service-level agreements.  He is extremely proficient in contract negotiations. His IT experience covers mainframe, data centers, systems integration, midrange servers, managed network services, end-user computing and help desk. He has helped complete acquisitions by coordinating tax, legal, finance, accounting and senior management teams. His clients benefit from his market intelligence insights in the IT industry and identification of strategic service providers. Dale has an MBA with a concentration in finance.

Robert Stapleton

Robert, in his role as a Director in the Oil & Gas vertical, delivers extensive sourcing delivery expertise. He has lead clients across a broad cross-section of areas including sourcing strategies and assessments, shared services, performance management, financial management, relationship management, contract negotiation and management, application development and maintenance, enterprise telecommunications and networking, and business process services.

Friedrich Löer

Mr. Loeer is a proven leader in IT operation and management and in IT outsourcing. He has demonstrated expertise in assessment, strategy development and sourcing transactions. Friedrich's clients benefit from his 35 years of IT industry tenure, his practical experience in IT thereof more than 18 years in sourcing. Friedrich also offers clients his expertise in the financial services industry, manufacturing and automotive.