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TMCNet:  Utilities Must Bridge the Divide Between IT and OT to Realize the Benefits of the Smart Grid, According to Pike Research

[August 29, 2012]

Utilities Must Bridge the Divide Between IT and OT to Realize the Benefits of the Smart Grid, According to Pike Research

BOULDER, Colo. --(Business Wire)--

Uncertainty as to how new IT systems should be incorporated into network operations continues to slow the advance of smart grid technologies. Though the need to support smart meters has already driven significant change in the utility IT landscape, the evolution of the smart grid from the initial deployment of smart meters to a dynamic, intelligent network supporting bidirectional communications between utilities and customers is only just beginning. According to a recent report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant's Energy Practice, the need to define and deploy new IT systems to support the smart grid is driving greater collaboration between the information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) sides of the business.

Utilities are taking varied approaches to solving this challenge, says research director Eric Woods. "In some utilities, the CIO is driving the planning process to achieve an architectural view of IT and OT," Woods adds. "Others are allowing operational teams to take the lead in defining requirements, with the IT organization adopting the system provider role. However, most utilities are focused on defining the new functions and processes required for smart grids, finding ways to work together to achieve this and worrying later about organizational structures."

The total smart grid software and related IT services market will reach $4.3 billion by the end of 2012, the study finds, and grow to over $8.6 billion by 2017. North America is leading the initial market in many smart grid IT innovations, but the European and Asia Pacific markets will become more significant over the next five years. Europe's drive toward its 20-20-20 carbon-reduction targets is focusing innovatio on the issues around renewable integration, energy efficiency, and energy security. In Asia Pacific, the scale of Chinese investments in grid infrastructure is yet to be matched by an impact on the IT market, but China will become a more active player in the market in coming years, according to the report.


The report, "Smart Grid IT Systems", examines the state of smart grid IT and provides a model for understanding how smart grid IT is evolving. The report analyzes the relationship between key elements of the smart grid IT landscape, including MDM, CIS, DMS and data analytics and looks at application areas such as outage management and asset management. Market forecasts for smart grid software and related services, segmented by application and world region, are provided through 2017 and key industry players are profiled in depth. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Pike Research (News - Alert) website.

About Pike Research

Pike Research, which joined Navigant's global Energy Practice on July 1, 2012, provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets. The team's research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Grid, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors. Additional information about Pike Research can be found at www.navigant.com/pikeresearch.

About Navigant

Navigant (NYSE: NCI) is a specialized, global expert services firm dedicated to assisting clients in creating and protecting value in the face of critical business risks and opportunities. Through senior level engagement with clients, Navigant professionals combine technical expertise in Disputes and Investigations, Economics, Financial Advisory and Management Consulting, with business pragmatism in the highly regulated Construction, Energy, Financial Services and Healthcare industries to support clients in addressing their most critical business needs. More information about Navigant can be found at www.navigant.com.

* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, "Smart Grid IT Systems," is a summary and reflects Pike Research's current expectations based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the report's conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Pike Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.


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