Accelerating digitalisation in energy
Digitalisation - not an uncommon phrase in the business world. Organisations across all industries are implementing some form of digital strategy - and it's not just the CTOs and the CIOs driving the adoption - leaders ranging from CFOs to HR have their role to play in driving digitalisation.
With this in mind, Energy Digital takes a look at SSE Enterprise Telecoms’ white paper,, to understand the digital agenda for the energy industry, as well as what leaders in the sector will need when it comes to network infrastructure and data management in order to succeed.
“Big steps have been made in the energy sector around digitalisation,” commented SSE Enterprise Telecoms. By digitalising their operations, energy firms have benefited from improved efficiency, as well as improved connectivity and communication between sites, devices and equipment.
“However, the energy sector is a little way behind some of its peers – particularly with adoption of leading-edge data and telecommunications technologies,” said SSE Enterprise Telecoms.
With this in mind, SSE Enterprise Telecoms identifies in its report three elements that should shape a digital agenda in the sector.
It’s estimated that by 2050, the UK could save across the electricity system as a result of a more flexible energy system that facilitates the production of energy or modifies consumption in response to evolving circumstances.
“As things stand, progress with flexibility in the UK has been slower than anticipated. The IEA has identified that integration of systems, improved storage and better deployment (among other things) will be key to changing that story,” commented.
Monitoring and control
A core aspect of a smart grid is to be able to better understand capacity needs, demands and supply levels, in order to flex according to the demand.
“To do this, energy companies will be installing more and more sensors across the grid that will provide them with the oversight that they need,” stated SSE Enterprise Telecoms. “As they develop plans, they should keep in mind the networks that have to support data collection and transference [...] IT leaders need to ask themselves whether their current network would allow this to happen and, if not, how those gaps are bridged.”
These new priorities in the energy sector, outlined in SSE Enterprise Telecoms’ report, will result in increased pressure on the network and high demand on the core systems of providers.
“A key watch word in all this is ‘performance’. Without a clear view on network performance and potential issues, it will be all too easy for issues to arise that compromise the smart, consumer-centric way things will be done in the near future. And for the benefits energy companies should see to be compromised with it,” said SSE Enterprise.
Core challenges for the energy industry looking to implement a digital agenda
Data management and movement
With trends such as RIIO-2 to be implemented in 2021 and the increased focus on the smart grid and renewable energy market, SSE Enterprise Telecoms expects to see unprecedented high demand for data management and movement.
“Legacy network infrastructure is simply unable to cope with this. IT leaders should be looking to fibre connectivity solutions that will provide them with the low latency data transfer they need to monitor sites and keep people connected, as well as the high levels of reliability essential services like gas and electricity need,” noted
Beyond performance and reliability, improved visibility of network performance and issues that could affect the efficiency of supply and storage is needed to implement a digital agenda.
“SD-WAN is an ideal tool to implement in this regard. It provides IT and telecommunications leaders with clear network performance detail as it happens – enabling responsive and reliable decision making about the network,” commented
Airswift Competentia merger spurs global digital recruitment
Airswift and recruiting and workforce management specialist Competentia have merged to form one of the world’s foremost workforce solutions providers serving the energy, process, infrastructure, mining and technology industries.
The combined entity, which retains the Airswift name, will offer clients enhanced global access, particularly in the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and Africa. Competentia recently opened an office in Texas, complementing Calgary, Anchorage and Houston in the region.
Airswift chief executive, Janette Marx, will be CEO of the merged entity and Competentia Group CEO, Jayden Wallis, will play a key role on the executive team as Chief Marketing Officer and SVP of ASPAC. Kyle McClure will become CFO of the combined company.
Marx said there had been a long been mutual admiration between both companies, which share a mutual ambition to become the workforce solutions provider of choice for clients, candidates and contractors in the energy and technology industries.
“In a rapidly digitizing, post-pandemic environment, companies across the world’s technical sectors must quickly respond to new ways of working to achieve sustainable, long-term growth," she said. "We believe that our combined size and experience, and our firm focus on the energy transition, perfectly positions us to help clients respond to the complex workforce challenges of the future. Through digital and people-based solutions, we will ultimately shape the technical sectors of tomorrow.”
As a result of the merger, mid-market and blue-chip companies alike gain access to an even broader range of truly integrated services. Talent acquisition, professional search, international contractor management, global employment outsourcing, consultancy and payroll management are just a few of the workforce solutions on offer.
Wallis added: “We see this as an opportunity to create the world’s most forward-thinking workforce solutions provider.
“We also believe we have a key, supporting role to play in enabling the energy transition, not only in the industries we serve, but through responsible business operations, business models, investment in technology and innovation, and collaboration with our peers. Our combined strength and shared ambition mean we’re even better placed to deliver on that.”
Ian Langley, Airswift’s Chairman, said: “It was obvious from our opening call that a potential merger had great merit. Not only did our combination make perfect commercial sense, but we found that our organizations had similar cultures and aspirations, and we quickly discovered a unique alignment.”
Airswift and Competentia’s private equity backers, Wellspring Capital and Reiten & Company respectively, are retaining their stakes in the merged entity and will continue to be actively involved with the business. Airswift has also issued a bond on the Norwegian bond market to ensure maximum flexibility and access to alternative funding in the future.
Matthew Harrison, Managing Partner at Wellspring Capital, said: “Airswift and Competentia share the same foundational values and are guided by both delivering excellence to their clients and creating a great employee experience. Together they can do this even better, and I look forward to seeing the new merged company do great things.”
Bård Ingerø, Managing Partner at Reiten & Co concludes: “These are two companies with such similar cultures and successful track records, which we believe will fit together seamlessly to offer the market the greatest possible breadth, depth and quality of services, wherever clients may operate.”
Patrick Tame, CEO of Beringer Tame, says only agile and digitally savvy businesses have survived the storm from the pandemic, and will continue to do.
“The battle to keep ahead in an environment of rapid technological, market and consumer behaviour changes has caused businesses to rush to hire digital talent that has enabled them to shift the way they operate," he writes.
"When there are skill shortages in a particular sector - such as the digital market - hiring the best, before the competition, can make a real difference when it comes down to overall business success. So the businesses that are privy to a team of consultants who boast priceless depth of industry knowledge and mastery are guaranteed to have a competitive edge."