Utilities are embracing the 21st century digital technologies and bringing innovation to their businesses. Fortunately, the century old grid infrastructure has got attention of advanced communications and information technology service providers. Though it has come at relatively late stage when energy sustainability has become global concern, nevertheless the adaption rate of ICT by utilities is appreciable. Federal agencies have also been supporting grid modernization efforts with grants and by funding innovative technologies under EISA & ARRA programme.
Digital technologies are entering into new age with opportunities knocking at utilities door; how best to leverage the SMAC (Social Media, Mobility, Analytics & Cloud) remains a question. Big data is foremost contender with utilities since smart devices (smart meters, sensors, log data etc) have given rise to unprecedented volumes of structured & unstructured data. Amongst the smart grid key technology areas’, having smart outage management system is must have which supports the bottom line of utilities—“to keep the lights on”.