Report: Utility CIOs need to manage multiple strategies


By: SGN Staff

Utility CIOs are under pressure to cut costs, but somehow need to manage the unexpected costs resulting from deployment of new smart grid technologies. A report from IDC Energy Insights, Utility IT Strategies, offers a look at what their peers are facing, how to defend budgets and strategies they should consider to make it work.


"The utility CIO is caught between having to cut costs, yet facing unanticipated costs associated with the deployment of new technologies," said Jill Feblowitz, IDC Energy Insights VP. "In this context, multiple strategies - demand management, enterprise architecture, portfolio optimization, and even cloud computing - need to be considered."


Some key findings in the report include the following:

·         Utilities spend an average 2.5% of their revenue on IT compared to an all-industry average of 6.8%. Still, achieving IT efficiency and productivity is the top priority for IT investments.

·         NERC CIP and other security requirements put a burden on IT staff.

·         Smart grid initiatives bring with them unanticipated IT costs in IT infrastructure and continuing IT operations and maintenance.

·         Technology developments will require that utilities address "bring your own device" and cloud offerings.