Boulder, Colorado, USA, (Business Wire) – Utilities have long used IT solutions in their businesses for customer billing, for outage responses and for protection and control functions. Only recently, however, has the industry recognised the critical role that IT will play as the one-way network of old evolves into a far more complex system – i.e., the smart grid. According to a recent report from Navigant Research, cumulative utility spending on IT systems for the smart grid will total US$139.3 billion between 2014 and 2022.
“A dizzying array of solutions has emerged to meet utilities’ IT needs for the smart grid,” says Richelle Elberg, Senior Research Analyst with Navigant Research. “This is a period of rapid change and the difficulties associated with legacy system replacement and new system integration are not minor, but the potential benefits are real and increasingly measurable in terms of grid efficiency, reliability and financial viability.”
To meet utilities’ needs and to ease this transition, IT vendors are working to develop solutions that are more interoperable, according to the report, as well as creative purchasing models, such as managed services. At the same time, legacy utility IT systems were not designed to handle the volume or the speeds of data generated by the smart grid, so new hardware may be needed, in addition to software systems, to maximise the value of information gathered by grid devices. Increasingly, utilities are looking to outsourced data centers to meet these needs.
The report, Smart Grid IT Systems, provides a comprehensive overview of the global market for utility smart grid IT systems. The report discusses the potential benefits and challenges to utilities deploying new IT systems and describes a dozen major utility IT applications. Global market forecasts for utility smart grid IT systems, segmented by category (software purchases and upgrades, software maintenance fees, services, and SaaS), application, and region, extend through to 2022. The report also provides in-depth profiles of numerous vendors and systems integrators involved in the utility smart grid IT space. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.