Modern IT systems combine a number of simple elements to produce a revolutionary outcome:
Low cost sensors that enable many things to be measured – for example all the information that cars now have available.
Communications infrastructure that enables data to be transported almost anywhere on the planet.
Relatively low cost storage and processing power that is scalable, so you mostly only pay for what you need.
Software tools that enable data to be transformed to produce information and insight that can be displayed in a way that people can easily grasp.
Social and business ecosystems that set expectations and enable us to share and transact without relying on a single point of control.
Rating sites such as TripAdvisor, blogs, PayPal and social media channels all provide social and commercial models that increase individual knowledgeand empowerment.
These elements have only just started to penetrate energy, which has been held back significantly by the current governance structures. Energy presents similar challenges to those of finance where changes which should benefit consumers come with new risks. However, giving people more freedom in how they buy and use energy should carry less risk than giving them freedoms over their pensions and other investments.