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‘Australian utility sector may face information vacuum’

Melbourne, Australia: Utilities will need GIS technology to ‘institutionalise’ the knowledge of their aging workforce and avoid an information vacuum, observed Bill Meehan, Global Director for Utilities at Esri. Meehan was addressing the Smart Electricity World conference in Melbourne. He said that the Australian utilities sector faces an information black hole within a decade unless it works to retain the knowledge of its ageing workforce. He added that the industry needs to invest in systems that would preserve the experience and knowledge of the thousands of staff expected to retire in the near future.
“For utilities, having a stable knowledge infrastructure is as much an asset as the actual pipes, wires, and hardware of the electrical system,” Meehan opined. The warning reflected an Australian ElectroComms and Energy Utilities Industry Skills Council report, released in April, which cited demand for technical knowledge and skills among the sector’s top five workforce development challenges for this year. 
Meehan explained an Enterprise GIS was the most effective way to capture and redistribute existing knowledge and address the looming shortage. “Energy utilities have traditionally used GIS to store asset records and produce clearer maps of their electrical system – now the technology is being applied as an enterprise-wide framework for knowledge retention and capture,” Meehan continued. 
About Meehan’s views, Esri Australia’s Regional Energy Manager Harry Kestin said, “This kind of information sharing is enormously valuable, particularly in this time of rapid change in the energy sector.”
Source:Esri Australia