The energy industry (oil and gas and electric utilities) has made strides in digitizing operations over the years. Now most businesses in the sector are beginning to use AI applications to get the most out of the data collected through these initiatives. And the pandemic has accelerated efforts for many companies (44%).
Less than one-third (28%) of energy executives say they have some processes that are fully enabled by AI and widely adopted in their business; an additional 29% say they have begun implementing limited AI use cases. And, most of those businesses now applying AI are reporting favorable outcomes. Nearly two-thirds (67%) of energy executives are realizing AI’s benefits in creating better customer experiences, 55% in improved decision making and 53% in innovating products and services. Specifically, AI use cases energy leaders believe will be the most important in 2021 include: performing predictive maintenance (35%); automating routine tasks (33%); and analyzing scenarios using simulation modeling (31%).
The energy sector also is mindful of the potential risks AI poses, with one-third (33%) of leaders agreeing that AI could usher in new cyber threats over the next five years and 41% agreeing it could create new privacy threats. Despite these concerns, the lion’s share of energy leaders (83%) nevertheless agree that AI will create more opportunities than challenges for their company in 2021.