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The Digital Utility and The Internet of Things: Converging at the Right Time!

According to a recent Morgan Stanley Blue Paper published in April 2014, the Internet of Things is the next big revolution in computing.  As described in the paper, the two key drivers of the Internet of Things are:

1) Price reduction and standardization of key hardware and software components, and

2) The level of integration with Big Data/Analytics, from which companies in various sectors can increase revenues and reduce inefficiencies.

Morgan Stanley analysts globally found that the Internet of Things could be an opportunity for several large industries, including Utilities, driving potential changes in business models and/or significant cost savings.

Utilities are one of the major industries to realize the next revolution from the Internet of Things because of the IT/OT convergence driven by the deployment of new equipment on the grid such as advanced meters, complex transformers as well as advanced power and communication networks all containing hundreds if not thousands of microprocessors providing lots and lots of data, big data, to be used in multiple ways. Big data around analytics and, with lots
of data, predictability is the ultimate goal of the Internet of Things.

As an example, let’s look at advanced meter data as a function of the OT instead of just IT. Monitoring consumption at a premise to not only bill the customer (IT) but predict load patterns, equipment problems and outage response are real use cases being deployed today.  If a utility can make highly accurate predictions right before a storm hits a residential neighborhood and then adjust that decision in real-time as the storm move through the neighborhood, improved customer satisfaction through multi-channel communication along with significant cost savings by knowing the condition and health of the assets can result.  It is the connectivity of the advanced meter, the customer and the energy delivery assets leveraging the Internet of Things that is creating the big breakthrough.

Tom Raftery, Principal Analyst at GreenMonk, has been talking about Electricity2.0 for many years.  He provided an example of how the Internet of Things is bringing his vision of Electricity 2.0 to reality in this article from December 2013 where he demonstrates lighting his Christmas tree with his smart phone leveraging the Internet of things.

The Digital Utility is all about intelligence for accurate predictions using big data and analytics to make actionable business decisions quickly and accurately.  The Internet of Things allows every Utility to become a Digital Utility. To learn more about our Digital Utility strategy, please view my video.

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