Few clouds in that blue sky for utilities

Grazed from IntelligentUtility. Author: Kathleen Wolf Davis.

The cloud—however you may define it—has morphed most of the modern world, but utilities are still a bit behind with this disruption. So, we sat down with Richelle Elberg, principal research analyst in energy with Navigant, to talk the how, whats and whys of this utility/cloud disconnect.

How are utilities utilizing cloud computing?

Elberg: For right now, minimally. Cloud computing can be done on a multitude of levels. With public cloud, there’s not a whole lot of that happening in the utility space. With managed services in a private cloud hosted by a vendor with limited access, there is more going on there. Some functions are being done in that way, especially back office items or areas related in some way to AMI...

A lot of utilities are outsourcing certain communications aspects of their AMI to vendors, and analytics is growing as an outsourced service as well. Going forward, analytics may be the area where the historic reluctance of utilities [to use the cloud] may start to break down. Nothing changes overnight, of course, but we're seeing it to a degree already...

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