CIOReview: Utilities Lead the Way to Our Cloud Future

Posted by Advanced Energy Economy on Nov 30, 2018

CIOReview published this “CXO Insight” piece by Scott Neuman, a member of AEE’s Board of Directors, and Group Vice President, Global Presales, Regulatory & Sales Operations at AEE member company, Oracle. Link to the full piece here.

Excerpts of CIOReview story are below: 

Utilities are the original cloud business. When we plug in a laptop, open a faucet, or fry an egg, we do not think about the complex networks that support these basic functions. The electricity, the water, and the gas are there when we need them. And the sewage just goes away. We do not really understand how any of this works—so long as it works. Cloud computing works the same way, which is why so many utilities are moving their IT operations to the cloud. According to IDC, utilities are in the top third when it comes to cloud adoption...

Like most migrations, this one is driven by necessity. If legacy on-premises systems could support safe, reliable, cost effective utility operations forever, then cloud solutions would be less attractive and I would be looking for another job. As it turns out, utilities are finding many compelling reasons to poke their heads into the cloud…

Meter data management is a primary driver of cloud adoption. Deployment of advanced metering infrastructure means utilities are collecting and storing more data than ever. The infinite scalability of cloud infrastructure makes it an attractive destination for huge and constantly growing datasets. Once data is in the cloud, a new universe of possibilities opens up for analytics and business intelligence…

Utilities are also scrambling to keep pace with rapidly advancing customer expectations. This is where we see the biggest opportunity for utilities in the cloud. While utilities have a great record of service delivery over the past century, very few utilities are leaders when it comes to the customer experience. Customers consider utility websites a necessary evil— or just plain evil. Transformation of the utility customer experience is difficult with legacy technology. This makes the cloud an attractive destination for utilities needing to improve their customer experience without busting budgets.

Cloud migration is complex in any industry, but utilities face a unique set of hurdles. Reliability, safety, security, and cost cannot be compromised. Regulators are often involved and are increasingly interested in utility IT operations. Nearly 80 percent of regulators surveyed by Zpryme said they have a role in determining whether utility IT operates on-premises or in the cloud. Even more importantly, 70 percent of regulators already treat—or plan to treat—utility cloud investment as capital expense. We expect regulatory support for cloud to increase as demonstrated by a recent resolution adopted by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, which acknowledges that utilities should focus on the value delivered rather than the delivery or payment method. This shift in the regulatory landscape will free utilities to select partners and solutions based on merit, rather than favoring the solution that earns a rate of return.

See the complete CIOReview piece here.

Topics: AEE In The News