IT essential to Indian power reform

Enterprise Innovation Editors
21 Oct 2010

The challenges met with attempts to transform India's power industry can only be meted with IT implementations, propelling the growth industry to reach US$569 million by 2013, according to Springboard Research.

“Power sector organizations in India have now realized that they need to be more efficient, effective, productive and profitable. Effective application of IT comes up as a solution to overcome most of the challenges”, said Nilotpal Chakravarti, Manager, Vertical Industries at Springboard Research. “Moreover, the government and utilities have also started responding with greater attention and increased funding. The US$2 billion commitment to IT initiatives in the Restructured Accelerated Power Development Reforms Program (R-APDRP) underscores this awareness”, added Mr. Chakravarti.

Managed services are most preferred outsourcing model for power companies
According to the survey conducted by Springboard, 20% of respondents reported to opt for a managed services model in the future. The report further notes that most T&D companies prefer the model as it is a cost-effective way to implement IT projects that support strategic initiatives. It also reduces dependency on third-parties and allows the company to focus on core business rather than on IT-related areas.

Commercial management and ERP are top focus areas for investment
Springboard’s survey results confirmed that Commercial Management is the top focus area for strategic IT investments in India’s power sector, as reported by 77% of the respondents, while ERP stands at 67%.

Springboard concludes that IT has the potential to contribute significantly to the power reform process, particularly in the key areas such as business process automation, revenue and commercial management, distribution system automation, CRM and ATC loss reduction. However, there are some challenges that need to be tackled to optimize the utilization of IT.

According to the survey, the key ones include ‘lack of skilled manpower’ as stated by 25% respondents, and ‘system downtime’ (15%). While some of the respondents mentioned “no issues”, Springboard finds that the absence of IT problems can be attributed to the fact that most power companies have a very simple IT system in place or have only started building an IT infrastructure.

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