With increased use of renewables, resiliency issues, and sustainability concerns, theres an opportunity for technology to play a central role in helping energy companies adjust to the varying regulatory and pricing demands of the market

How New Energy Can Act Like Facebook and Google

Chris Moustakas | DevonWay

The energy industry, by its very nature, has always been grounded in the physical world. It has products that are tangible and finite, and it is reliant on R&D, operational processes, and physical assets. In many ways, its foundations still lie in the industrial revolution that gave birth to it. However, with increased use of renewables, resiliency issues, and sustainability concerns, there’s an opportunity for technology to play a central role in helping energy companies adjust to the varying regulatory and pricing demands of the market, as well as manage costs, uptime, and service more predictably.

The blanket term for this role is Digital Transformation, and there are many conversations on how organizations should actually do it. Although they continue to evolve, tech giants like Facebook and Google don’t have to ‘digitally transform’ as technology is already at the core of everything they do. So, for those who are trying to transform, what can we learn from the digital natives of the world?

  1. Fail, but fail fast
    Having a fail fast mentality has allowed Google and Facebook to overtake century old behemoths in less than a decade. It is also transforming industries like energy, who are increasingly using data gathered from small, agile projects to model particular approaches before implementing them on a wider scale. Some will fail, but if one in ten saves you a significant amount, the others will not matter. This was never possible in the pre-digital era, and so it’s a change in thinking. However, organizations can now afford to experiment, trying lots of small projects, failing fast and learning as they go.

  2. Adapt to change
    The flat organizational structure that Google is renowned for encourages all employees to speak up and vocalize their points of view. Of course, not every company has to adopt the same organizational structure. What matters is remaining open to change. It means examining the processes and procedures that are currently in place and wondering how they can be improved upon, and that needs to involve every part of the business. And, as an employee, this means not being afraid to make your voice heard.

  3. Have a long-term vision

One of the reasons why Facebook was able to conquer big competitors like Orkut, Google Plus, Myspace, etc. was because of its long-term vision. Facebook has a motto, “Capture and Retain,” and it continues to stay true to its mission. When trying to understand what technologies they should invest in, energy organizations should not just consider the challenges they are faced with now, but should also plan and understand future challenges that may come up. The implementation of these technologies may not happen all at the same time, but the organization will have a fairly strong future proof plan that will allow them to continually evolve, rather than digitally transform in bursts.

There are many more lessons to be learned, but as the energy industry looks to satisfy demand in new ways, the above is a great foundation to start with. The main thing is to act, and not stay stagnant. Energy companies can thrive, not just survive, but to do so they need to look to other industries for inspiration.



About Chris Moustakas
Chris is responsible for the health and long-term growth of a company with fantastic technology and incredible team members.

A graduate of Caltech in Astronomy with Honors, Chris entered the enterprise software industry right after graduation. He helped design and build mission-critical applications in industries as varied as Insurance, Banking, Healthcare, and Utilities before realizing that what made many of those applications hard to build had nothing to do with the businesses they were supporting. The answer, which is to abstract underlying components into a collection of industry-agnostic engines, came to life in the DevonWay platform.

The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag

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