Worldwide spending on utility customer information systems and analytics is expected to grow from $2.7 billion annually in 2014 to more than $4.9 billion by 2023, according to from Navigant Research.
For electric utilities, a variety of factors, including market transitions, the advent of distributed generation, and smart grid technologies have converged to place unprecedented strains on legacy billing and customer information systems.
Along with increasing demands for effective customer engagement and the desire for integration with digital platforms, these developments have created a perfect storm of new requirements for up-to-date billing and CIS solutions.
“Utilities today must engage with their customers and provide real-time usage and billing information via multiple platforms, including the web and mobile devices,” says Richelle Elberg, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “In order for utilities to successfully engage in these new activities, a modern, robust customer information system is paramount. So while implementation of a new CIS is an expensive, risky undertaking, we expect demand for modern, modular solutions to accelerate throughout the next decade.
These new systems tend to be configurable, rather than highly customized as in the past, according to the report. Managed CIS offerings are also forecast to gain traction, particularly with smaller utilities. Managed solutions can reduce the risk and complexity, as well as the implementation time, of a new CIS — two of the major barriers to adoption.