The Digital Utility of the Future is a term frequently used to refer to water utilities that are undergoing a digital transformation. These utilities have realized that the only way to continue providing adequate water services in spite of aging infrastructure, growing populations, climate change and tightening budgets is by using data. The Digital Utility of the Future uses data to make long term strategic decisions such as where to replace pipes as well as real time operational decisions such as when to open a valve. Embarking on the digital transformation journey is not easy, however, and requires both deep knowledge and technology expertise.
Xylem’s goal is to be the trusted partner of the Digital Utility of the Future by using expertise covering all aspects of the urban water cycle: production, distribution, consumption, collection and treatment. We take a data-driven approach to managing water infrastructure by focusing on the key success factor for digital transformations: a clear return on investment. This approach is supported by other tenants aimed at facilitating the objective:
- Glass Box: Transparency is critical to the successful implementation of digital technologies in water utilities. The value, architecture, and methodologies used must be well understood by the utility.
- Modularity and flexibility: The objective is to solve the problem and to realize the maximum return on investment. This approach leverages legacy water infrastructure as well as existing software and IT investments.
- Expertise and experience: Every utility is unique. It is not enough for a partner to have deep domain expertise or the latest technologies; today’s problems require having both.
Read more about how utilities are getting started in their digital journeys here.
About the Author
Dr. Luis Montestruque is the President and CTO of EmNet, a Xylem brand. Luis has a Ph.D. degree in control systems theory from the electrical engineering department at the University of Notre Dame. He founded EmNet in 2004 to focus on the application of Internet of Things, Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence to optimize wastewater networks. In 2016, EmNet joined Xylem’s Advanced Infrastructure Analytic business to accelerate the adoption of data driven technologies by utilities across the globe.More Articles by Luis