In an enterprise that’s plugged into delivering future value, multiplying megawatts, calculating cubic feet or gauging gallons are just the bare-bones essentials. What matters most is — understanding consumer usage, creating flexibility and shaping sustainability, by harnessing intelligent systems powered by information technology. With the shift towards a smart grid industry, enterprises must balance must-haves and must-dos in serving customers.
While comprehensive network security, seamless systems integration, renewable assets and active consumer commitment will define the future; immediate imperatives are addressing regulatory needs, shrinking budgets and technological shifts.
Consumer experience: The industry landscape is changing, especially with regards to how consumers utilize electricity. Creating a lasting connection with consumers and enabling them with digital technology are critical success factors in balancing energy supply and demand.
Pervasive technology: The strength and security of the utility network is under constant scrutiny, with the influx of consumer technologies like plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Seamless incorporation of new technologies as well as renewable energy sources hold great potential to maximize value.
Reliability: With growing demand and access to renewable resources, the utility focus shifts to accommodating fluctuating energy production while retiring aging assets. The IP-enabled digital grid remains vulnerable to malicious activity. Continuous monitoring is crucial to realizing the promise of keeping utilities safe, smart and affordable.
Rising energy prices and deregulation are increasingly affecting today’s utilities industry. At the same time, consumers are looking for increased reliability, better quality, faster service, improved performance, and greater access to information. In the past, the transmission and distribution market has been relatively static and slow to change. But now it finds itself at the convergence of energy and telecommunications markets, forcing change and innovation in support of a 21st century intelligent utility network.