The old utility model is under threat. Electric utility companies can fight back by doing what they were always designed to do: provide a service. This requires, however, technology investments to orchestrate customer needs, people, and assets to deliver a unified customer experience.
Utility companies should be used to the occasional existential threat. It happened when monolithic phone companies had to adapt in North America first to the dissolution of Ma Bell and then globally to the arrival of the internet and, competition from digital-first competitors. Today, electric utilities are facing an Amazon moment with the arrival of a vast array of digital newcomers and increased complexity, from blockchain-enabled electricity trading platforms to smart neighborhoods. Across the board, utilities are facing de-commoditization that requires them to fight for relevance to the customer.