Help for utilities: How to pick the right managed services


By: SGN Staff


Over the past 18 months or so, vendors have pushed a bewildering number of options for managed services into the market to help utilities manage their business operations and technology infrastructure costs. A new report from IDC Energy Insights lays out what services are out there and takes the guesswork out of picking the right one.


The report looks at managed services options that are relevant to the challenges the North American utility industry has to contend with, and provides guidance on how to determine which ones are worthy of investment with the least risk.


As Jill Feblowitz, IDC Energy Insights VP explained: "Multiple managed services are emerging into the market to serve the needs of utilities. The challenge is to make managed services a win-win proposition for utilities and the providers of services. Utilities must be able to see value in services, such as quick implementation and ability to manage risk of investment. At the same time, utilities need reliability of service and privacy of customer data. The vendors must be able to create a viable business in a relatively short period of time, taking advantage of lower-cost delivery methods such as cloud. Vendors also need to hit the right pricing arrangements, where little may be known about the cost of in-house services.


"IDC Energy Insights sees security services and AMI network services as sure bets for utilities now, with other services becoming established in the next three to five years."