CIS on the cloud: Embracing your utility’s digital transformation

As a result of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, utilities understand that they must prepare for future and unforeseen disruptive events that can impact their business. These events can be of great magnitude such as natural disasters or of lesser magnitude such as changes in business models and market regulations, all while meeting ever-increasing customer expectations. To be able to respond to any potential situation, utility companies continue to look for new ways to focus on their business while streamlining IT platform management, optimizing costs, and adopting rapid technology cycles. Additionally, these companies need to find alternatives to support changes in customer service and network operation processes at break-neck speeds.

Today, many utilities operate with systems that are more than two decades old, resulting in a state of technological obsolescence. These traditional solutions are monolithic and too inflexible to react quickly to market requirements, too expensive to maintain and extend and are designed with obsolete architectures. To overcome this problem and undertake a digital transformation journey, utilities can leverage cloud solutions and services, which provide easy and rapid access to world-class IT resources, ensure applications functional evolution, facilitate infrastructure scalability, and provide rock-solid security. Unfortunately, installing a legacy system on the cloud will not bring the desired benefits that utilities can gain with a modern solution.

The existence of modern solutions that embrace a holistic, future-proof, and cloud architecture design, are proving to be the optimal choice for utilities looking to improve business processes and drive down TCO.  Through a holistic and modern approach, utilities can overcome any unexpected challenge thrown their way and accelerate their digital transformation processes. They can provide a comprehensive customer experience and avoid the maintenance of several solutions with a simplified systems architecture that reduces interfaces and provides overall real-time information across the board. These solutions include tools that empower utilities to develop innovation capabilities across all their customer service processes to address continuously evolving market demands and respond to disruptive events. With a cloud-based architecture and continuous upgrade capabilities, utilities can become more agile, grow their IT infrastructure and application functional scope in a non-disruptive manner, and focus their resources on new business opportunities. In fact, a study conducted by strategic consulting firm McKinsey, indicates that digital technologies such as cloud solutions can increase utility companies’ earnings by up to 20%.

With a focus on delivering the benefits of cloud technologies, Open International has created a cloud service delivery model for Open Smartflex, its state-of-the-art CIS solution. This holistic CIS can be operated on-premise, but to garner the advantages outlined above, can also be run in the utility’s preferred cloud. With this next-generation software, utilities will not have to worry about reduction of software functionality issues experienced with some providers. Open Smartflex offers the same robust functionality whether it’s deployed as a cloud solution (SaaS or PaaS,) or on-premise, giving companies the freedom to choose the delivery model that best suits their business goals. Today, close to 5 million users are operating Open Smartflex in the cloud.

Open’s cloud portfolio also includes a set of managed service offers that help utilities run their business smoothly and boosts operational agility, freeing up resources to innovate. Despite the recent challenging times, Open International continues to deliver innovation to the utility industry through its cutting-edge solution and cloud services and is fully committed to empowering utilities to embrace their digital transformation.