Technology will play an increasing role in the utilities industry, according to predictions and trends by IDC Energy Insights.

The organisation has released its top predictions help company leaders capitalise on emerging market opportunities and plan for future growth

The top 10 predictions are:

* Utilities will hunt for flexibility and innovation in their operations and business models;

* At high impact, micro-grids will force business model change; at minimum, service opportunities will require it and distribution adaptation;

* CIOs will devote more time and attention to working closely with line of business on cyber security, enlarging their scope of action;

* Utility CIOs’ role will evolve, driven by IT and operational technologies convergence;

* Eroding utility revenues and the increase of capital and operating costs will force utilities to develop analytics strategies;

* Adaptive utilities will embrace dynamic resiliency to survive the ecosystem changes;

* Utilities will need to seek new paths for data management to propel smart grid innovation;

* Utilities multi-channel customer management will call for platform and architecture investments;

* Gamification will gain traction in utilities to create consumer engagement, loyalty and trust; and

* Global utilities IT spending will surpass $59,3-billion in 2014.

“Despite regional nuances, the globally utilities industry is in the midst of a major paradigm shift. Flexibility and innovation are the ‘new normal’ and digital technologies and distributed generation are the cornerstone of the transformation across the entire value chain,” says Roberta Bigliani, associate vice-president and head of EMEA at IDC Energy Insights.

“In 2014, utilities will invest in analytics, mobility, cloud, social media, and cyber security while CIOs will adopt alternative sourcing models to enable business agility and reduce IT investments. Leadership and governance of OT and IT integration will be crucial to avoid undermining innovation.”