Each time we talk to customers, we’re reminded of the complexity that energy companies are managing every day – the number of markets, forecasts and assets are changing all the time, together with the increasing challenges of volatility in renewable energy generation and the demand fluctuations the world is now experiencing.
Undoubtedly a fantastic amount of effort and ingenuity has gone in to adapting the underpinning systems to meet the rapid market changes of the past few years (not to mention the last few months!).
However, as the energy system grows more complex and more decisions need to be made in real-time, there is also no doubt that integration is getting harder.
Where previously System A could update System B once a day, there is increasing value in the currency of data. While historically power traders might be responsible for a handful of thermal assets, volumes of small and distributed assets are growing, with many more on the horizon.
External requirements used to change slowly and predictably, but the patchwork of systems, while each rigorously selected, will therefore no longer support the real-time operations, scalability and versatility required to win in 21st century energy markets.
While the integration challenge is considerable, there are promising signs that software vendors are alive to the wider context beyond their own applications.