The subject of digital transformation agenda has without doubt been accentuated by the ongoing pandemic which awakened many local companies out of their slumber. The adoption of 4th industrial revolution concepts in Zimbabwe has been a slow and painful one owing to a multiplicity of factors, people, technology etc.
One company which is poised to take advantage of digital transformation is ZESA, yes ZESA. Lately we had a rude awakening of the new billing system which rewards thrifty users of electricity and severely pushes heavy users. What got us thinking is that does ZESA provide households with some statistical data or usage patterns so that households can make informed decisions as to their consumption habits? What if ZESA can supply every household with detailed analytics on consumption patterns? which gadget is consuming more? Or better still ways to minimize electricity usage backed by big data analytics.
Big Data Analytics is a critical component and an integral part of all digital transformation efforts. It simply entails the use of data and data analytics to inform business decisions, optimize processes and enhance customer experiences in near or real time. The launch of prepaid meter systems has provided utility suppliers with ample opportunities to radically transform their operations by taking advantage of digital transformation. The recent continuous supply of power could be attributable to the new billing systems which naturally forced households to be more economical in their power usage thus reducing aggregate demand.
The next level for ZESA is to provide some analytics on usage patterns and then through artificial intelligence proffer solutions on the optimal usage patterns. This will also enable correct forecasting of national aggregate demand for power. We would certainly be happy if we can log in onto the ZESA portal and download (even at a premium price) our monthly usage pattern which shows how the cookers, refrigerators, and other gadgets contributed to our monthly spend. While we acknowledge that to provide this fragmented data might require integration with external parties, ZESA should be able to provide some useful information to users and enable them to make informed decisions.
There is perceptibly a lot of ways in which ZESA can become a truly digitized entity and will attempt to cover this in our next issue.