Why Energy Companies Must Embrace Mobile to Remain Competitive

May 24, 2023

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Taking stock of the post-pandemic business ecosystem, the way we view technology has clearly changed.

For years, energy players listened to the promises made by tech evangelists but pushed most tech investments onto the back burner in the face of financial pressures.

Then came three years of enforced technology acceleration and deployment.

Incredibly, one of the most important tools driving technology change in the energy sector is something owned by 96% Americans: a mobile device.

Mobile is the driving force that has helped us navigate the new world of remote working.

And yet, many energy companies still have not fully embraced a mobile-first mindset. They remain stuck behind unwieldy desktop-only solutions that inhibit on-the-go decision-making.

Moving forward, mobile readiness is no longer optional. It is a proven, value-adding component of the energy tech stack. And it is fast becoming the glue that keeps your entire infrastructure running.


Energy’s Mobile Challenge

As the energy sector grows in complexity, scale, and digital fortitude, its players are searching for ways to enter new verticals and deploy new business models with agility, speed, and intelligence.

On the backend, automation, IoT, and AI steal the headlines and attract investment. But tangible disruption is also happening on the front-end.

Mobile enablement—the use of apps and other mobile tools across the energy ecosystem—is driving productivity, engagement, and revenue gains at top-tier energy providers.

According to McKinsey, mobile engagement can help energy players boost productivity by as much as 15%.

The logic behind the headline make sense.

What happens when a critical midstream issue pops up at 6am?

How do you quickly grab information to answer a client while in a meeting?

How do you take any urgent action while on the go?

In many cases, the answer to each of these situations involves unwieldy enterprise resource systems, spreadsheets, and an entire pot of coffee.

Does this make sense in today’s digital first ecosystem?

Digitizing a single core process can cut costs by 20% and yet we are stuck wasting time in archaic, outdated systems that lack mobile support.

A few multi-billion-dollar energy companies have largely transitioned to mobile, but a majority of mid-market players still lack mobile capabilities, even for basic solutions.

This represents a huge disadvantage.

Mobile accessibility might still feel new and disruptive, but it’s not. Today, mobile is a standard component of the modern tech stack.

It doesn’t require test driving fancy new solutions or making huge capital investments in cutting-edge systems. It’s a backbone technology that exists in parallel with legacy systems.

Mobile readiness is less of a tech investment and more of a conscious choice during vendor selection.

Forget building your own apps—an expensive wild goose chase that energy players embark on time and again. Instead, choose mobile-ready solutions and give yourself an immediate operational advantage.


The Next Generation of Energy Employees and the Future of Energy Work

Generation Z has entered the workforce, and they’re bringing their preferences and work habits with them.

Over 50% of Gen Z admits to feeling uncomfortable and insecure without their mobile device, and fully 64% say they are digitally connected around-the-clock.

This is the first digitally native generation. They grew up with a phone in their hands. Most of them spend over 5 hours each day on their mobile device, so they’re fluent in mobile-driven interactions.

Unfortunately, many energy players continue ignoring these demographic changes in favor of the status quo.

Mobile devices dominate our social lives but also have immense potential as work devices, allow us to take our work with us, work remotely, and react to situations with more agility than ever before.

To engage and retain new workers, energy companies must pivot from clunky, desktop-driven systems to a modern, mobile-enabled workplace. Much like the transition from mainframes to PCs a few decades ago, the age of energy employees being chained to their desks is over.


The Value of Mobile for Energy Management

Energy supply and distribution networks are dense, complex, and highly interdependent.

Your business is impacted by all manner of forces—physical, geospatial, data, transactional—and remaining competitive requires agility and speed.

What if you need to submit a nomination while you’re on the road?

How do you resolve a trade imbalance while you’re in another state, at home, or at lunch?

These are real situations to which mobile capabilities let you instantly respond.

This isn’t a mid-horizon solution that will take years to justify and only deliver long-term ROI. Implementing mobile solutions can instantly expand your cash flow and recover precious working capital from your transactions.

It’s impossible to overemphasize the ease with which you can onboard a mobile-driven energy transaction management system (ETMS).

There’s no need to build out AI networks, construct a complicated tech stack, or realign your entire business framework.

Mobile apps give you real-time information on your energy supply chain transactions, and they’re incredibly easy to integrate into your business.

Here’s the kicker: your employees already have phones, making mobile readiness a zero-infrastructure investment. Just choose an ETMS that supports mobile.


Image Credit: Adobe Stock


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