2019 Utility Survey finds strong vision and broad adoption of grid modernization strategy

Only 25 percent of survey respondents say their utility is an operational leader in transformation.

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NEWTON, MA, MAY 24, 2019 -- BRIDGE Energy Group (BRIDGE), today announced results from the company's 2019 BRIDGE Index™ Utility Industry survey. Titled, "An Industry in Transformation – Business and Compliance", the latest survey uncovers an overwhelming focus and drive towards achieving grid modernization -- in some cases in advance of mandated regulatory deadlines.

"For the vast majority, there is agreement that there is a clear vision for the organization and that the vision is being executed," said Hugo van Nispen, CEO, BRIDGE. "However, most do not view their utility as leading the industry in operational transformation. Utilities should ensure their vision includes out-of-the box thinking about what is truly needed to address the changes in customer expectations, business models, and workforce technology."

"The integration of Transmission and Distribution business operations is expected to increase significantly in the next three years," said Michelle Fay, VP Success Enablement, BRIDGE. "Ultimately, the successful merger of what have been siloed operations will hinge upon industry lessons learned, effective change management, and a more holistic approach to security planning."

Once again, BRIDGE demonstrates the company has its finger on the pulse of the utility industry transformations. Now in its 8th consecutive year, the BRIDGE Index™ survey continues to provide objective, research-driven insights into current and future priorities across a broad cross-section of North American utility decision-makers.

While the survey showed that participants are at different stages of the transformation maturity model, many continue to move beyond just contemplating changes, and are now taking action supported by substantive investments in capability, infrastructure, and talent. This movement is supported by 85% of survey respondents who agree that their organization has a clear vision and nearly all (96%) agree that they are taking proactive steps to achieve their vision.

These positive steps are also extended toward keeping the grid protected from hackers, as expected outcomes from the implementation of new NERC CIP Supply Chain Regulations will improve visibility into vendor risks and vulnerabilities: 39% see a reduced risk of compromise via a supply chain partner.

However, the 2019 BRIDGE Index™ Utility Industry survey also threw a caution flag on this positive grid modernization momentum, as only 43% reported that it is viewed as a transformational initiative, sponsored at the highest levels of the organization.

"For a significant number of utilities, Grid Modernization efforts are still siloed in a particular portion of the organization and, as such, are not as transformational as they could be. To achieve the maximum business value envisioned in many of these projects, greater cross‐functional buy‐in to a more robust Grid Modernization strategy is needed," Fay added. 

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