Water & Wastewater Treatment

WWT February 2018

Water & Wastewater Treatment Magazine

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Page 20 of 43

P R E S E N T S I N A S S O C I A T I O N W I T H www.wwtonline.co.uk | WWT | FEBRUARY 2018 | 21 T he u li es industry is changing. It's being forced to innovate to meet the challenges of climate change, popula on growth and aff ordability, driven by changing policy and ever more stringent regulatory targets. As part of that remodelling process, disrup ve companies are ploughing new furrows into the way business has tradi onally been done. Some have formed in reac on to the changing mes, others are evolving the way they operate, while further afi eld established companies are circling eagerly around the ever- changing opportuni es that disrup on creates, poised to enter the market at any given moment. In short, with disrup ve new technologies and business models emerging, u li es must fi nd new strategies and solu ons to survive and thrive. Recognising the signifi cance of this process, U lity Week Live 2018 (22-23 May) has chosen disrup on as its headline theme. Held at the NEC in Birmingham, U lity Week Live 2018 will have themes including the IoT, water, gas and electricity innova ons, water retailing, customer facing solu ons, game-changing technologies, streetworks, and more. In the build-up to the main event, U lity Week Live got to the heart of the ma er by surveying its audience, and those of its sister brands U lity Week, WWT, WET News and Network about the impact disrup on is having on their businesses. The results showed that within the next 15 years, established u li es are facing disrup on on a signifi cant scale, with respondents ra ng poten al disrup on at seven out of a possible 10. We also asked our readers to name the companies and technologies they believe will most disrupt u li es in the next fi ve to ten years. In the fi rst of a four-part series detailing the responses of more than 700 u li es professionals to our survey, we reveal the top ten companies disrup ng the sector – and the results may just surprise you. For a start they're notably light on tradi onal u li es. Alongside the movers and shakers making waves in the market there are companies you wouldn't have dreamed of including ten (or maybe even fi ve) years ago. Perhaps the reason for fewer tradi onal providers is that the industry must become more fl exible, more transparent and more agile, or become the fall guy for failed decarbonisa on eff orts and frustrated consumer wants. These failings may not always result in drama c company collapses, but they could certainly lead to the side-lining and marginalisa on of tradi onal infrastructure providers and retailers. As new business models rise to maturity, the door is opening for "asset light" intermediaries to make an appearance. So if there's one conclusion to be drawn, it's that u li es of all kinds must decide if they want to contest their tradi onal dominance, or fall quietly by the wayside. As we launch U lity Week Live 2018, we look at the trends, technologies and factors that are set to disrupt u lity business models in the years to come. In this issue: Disruptor companies D I S R U P T I O N

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