Thought Leadership

Digitalizing Energy

By John Lusty

Digitalization is transforming the global Energy & Utilities (E&U) industry, and the most exciting part is that it’s happening so differently in each industry sector depending on their unique plans and priorities. That’s because each organization has a slightly different digital legacy and is executing a different business model that is making them a leader in their respective sectors of the market. It’s also because E&U businesses are inherently non-uniform due to mergers and acquisitions, project mindsets, boom and bust business cycles, breakthroughs in technology, and sudden societal or geopolitical shifts that ripple through the global energy economy at the speed of light.

This blog is the first in a new series from Siemens Digital Industries Software, where we’ll discuss trends in digitalization that relate to the Energy & Utilities industry.  At Siemens, we have the privilege of working closely with industry leaders and people from an extensive range of manufacturing sectors with different degrees of digital maturity.  That lets us see what’s working great as well as some things that didn’t go quite as planned.

We’re also the software business unit within Siemens AG, a mega-enterprise of close to 400,000 colleagues that acts as a massive internal customer for our solutions. People usually look at us a little differently, knowing that as a global engineering and manufacturing organization that relies extensively on our software solutions, we truly have “skin in the game” as our supplier.

Much work has been done across the E&U industry to assemble and apply the “digital twin” of assets, projects and facilities to be more efficient, profitable, and operationally excellent. In this blog, we’ll review examples of excellence in these areas and speak with some of the people who made them happen.

As far as we’ve already come, the level of innovation and the technologies supporting our digital energy transformation continues to offer exciting new opportunities to improve everything we do. The boundary between our physical assets and their digital twins will get even blurrier. The way our knowledge workers interact with evolving products, projects and facilities keeps evolving as we overcome the massive challenges facing today’s E&U industry. And with the use of open data standards, IoT, and the cloud, producers can now link equipment sensors on their physical assets to the corresponding digital twin and apply logic to improve performance and reliability in support of operational excellence.

Finally, the Energy industry is ideally suited to rapidly develop flexible new apps that can be personalized to provide insights into our data in the way we wish to experience it.  With rapid application development, users are pulling information from anywhere in their value chain, on any frequency, and applying it to do almost anything in a way that doesn’t require a programming background.  Many gaps are going to get closed very quickly in this exciting new area.

There’s a lot to discuss and even more to learn. So, let’s kick off this blog series and learn how digitalization can improve our Energy & Utility businesses. Because by doing that, we not only build value for our stakeholders but for society too.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at