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Is digitalisation in the power generation industry optional or inevitable?

Find out what LNS Research president Matthew Littlefield thinks.

Digitalisation is among the buzz words in the power generation industry today, and a lot of companies still have a lot to catch up on.

75% of power generation companies are looking into investing in the Internet of Things, according to LNS Research. In fact, big data analytics has surpassed the smart grid in planned investments. Two thirds of the industry have moved from traditional hierarchical systems and whilst there are a number of companies who still embrace that architecture, most of them are already looking into making the shift.

According to Matthew Littlefield, president and principal analyst, LNS Research, 60% of industrial companies will have a digital transformation initiative in place by the end of 2017.

He explained in a briefing at the Asia Power Week that much of the hype comes from the concept of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. "We have had three previous revolutions, none of them was completed in a year, or five years even. They took many decades to complete," he said.

But what is the stage of digital adoption in the power generation today?

Longer term, new data architecture and advanced analytics--artificial intelligence and machine learning--will provide opportunities for new business models. Littlefield said that the biggest challenge to date facing digital transformation in the power generation industry is not technical, it is business-related. "Much of this comes from the fact that the promise of digital transformation lies in the unknown. It is built on the idea that with more data and better analytics, companies will find previously unknown relationships--driving better business performance, all of which is very hard to quantify."

Asia Power Week is happening at BITECH, Bangkok, Thailand from September 19 to September 21.

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