HOT|COOL NO. 4/2021 - "Going Greener"

On the other hand, the company also needs to reach for new opportunities in cloud technology, as this is one of the keys to modernizing the system portfolio and innovating the com- pany's core outputs. The intelligent customer journeys of the future will, for instance, not be created in old silo systems. They will be built in the cloud using many exciting tools to strength- en customer loyalty and ensure our reason to exist in the mar- ket. Data collection from every corner of the business The energy sector will have access to more and more infor- mation in the future. Therefore, energy companies cannot use the data integration principles of the past – for instance, Batch Data Integration or file-based integration – to build the data structure of tomorrow. Instead, they must work with real-time integrations and API-based integrations. Integrations require that the companies work with a roadmap for the desired in- tegrations not to get lost in feature requests from the business side but rather stick to a future-proof plan. Secondly, it requires access to the proper IT toolbox and the right IT craftsmen to realize the plan. In data integration projects, KMD always emphasizes the im- portance of bringing all energy data into play. There cannot be parts of the business where data sources or meters can- not deliver data to the platform that collects and aggregates data. The company's sweeping digitalization journey must be just that – sweeping. The value of data integration in an energy company lies in its contribution to the green transition, which becomes more precise when all the business is transparent through data access. Launchpad for new business models Creating the right data collection and data analysis capabilities in the system architecture can also work as a platform for uti- lizing new kinds of energy data from, for instance, IoT devices. In this way, energy companies can also use the digitization of the business to build entirely new business models. To stay in the 'lingo' of today, you could call these new initiatives Data Provisioning-as-a-Service or Data Sharing-as-a-Service. The op- portunities to establish new lines of business are many when you use the coupling between a company's local insight and a nationally covering Smart Grid to devise and develop new services.

stuck with until the game's logic at the end catches up with you, and the game is over.

The analogy fits the system architecture of energy companies. Just like in Tetris, energy companies that have been around for many years risk that their technical debt comes back to haunt them if they fail to build their system landscape in a way that allows for new pieces to fall into place and take part in a great- er architectural whole. One of my colleagues describes the energy sector's lack of data exchange across the application portfolio as "Accidental IT." Over time the system landscape in many energy compa- nies has grown wildly in a structure that today complicates the transversal exchange of energy data, which is a prerequisite to push the green transition. Overlapping functionality, data du- plication, and even dependency on End-of-Life technologies are well-known challenges in these companies.

Distributed energy systems with high complexity require an IT architecture that can handle the increased complexity.

Scarcity of expertise is a factor One of the challenges for energy companies is their access to the right IT professionals. The digitization wave rolls in every part of society and not just the energy sector. Most companies with a digital plan are searching high and low for employees to help them define the exemplary target architecture and carry out the IT investments of the future in a business-led tempo and sequence. It takes deep domain knowledge to recognize the organiza- tion of the energy sector and how it will evolve over the years to come. Combining deep domain knowledge and technical expertise is vital to create the right data integrations and strike a balance between on-prem and cloud because that is a del- icate balance. On the one hand, there is a need for protecting the historic investments in the on-prem-based system portfolio that com- prise the foundation of the core business. It may be true that the technologies and systems are out of date, but they still con- tain a lot of valuable information on both users and the energy consumption of the past.

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