For utilities, today’s business backdrop presents a confluence of significant challenges. Companies face new, major competition—from startups with innovative business models and offerings as well as from established energy firms (including major oil companies) and other nonconventional players (such as technology businesses) entering the utility arena. Utilities must also contend with rapid developments in the market and in the regulatory landscape, changing preferences and sharply rising expectations among consumers, and an accelerating evolution in technology that presents both new opportunities and new threats.
To survive, let alone thrive, in this environment, utilities must make bold moves. BCG’s utility market analysis platform (utility MAP) can help them do so by codifying the emerging challenges in the rapidly evolving utility ecosystem. The platform provides vital, detailed information on a host of critical considerations. It can support the formulation of an innovation strategy, for example, by identifying such variables as the latest technological and digital trends affecting the industry, potential disruptors on the horizon, and domains in which utilities are concentrating their innovation efforts.
Similarly, the utility MAP can help utilities benchmark their financial performance and investment program by providing detailed financial and total-shareholder-return data on the 200 largest utilities globally and by revealing these companies’ merger-and-acquisition and private-investment activities in recent years. The platform can help utilities make optimal decisions on risks and opportunities on the startup front by revealing how utilities are positioning themselves—for instance, are they actively engaging in acquisitions?—and by identifying potential target acquisitions, the top startups that are emerging, and nontraditional players that are entering the industry. And the platform can make utilities aware of the strategic positioning, in terms of investments and acquisitions, of any new competitor that is starting to operate in the utility ecosystem.
All told, by providing critical, regularly updated information on important changes affecting the market as well as new competitors entering the arena, the utility MAP is a vital support for the type of game-changing decisions needed in today’s environment, which demands that utilities actively lead the charge and take immediate action rather than sit back and react.