What utilities expect from the Internet of Things
Intelligent Utility, April 21, 2016. Image credit: geralt
For utilities, the smart grid era unleashed not only millions of these new IoT devices, but also more data that utilities need to analyze and understand to make better decisions about their networks. In fact, 63 percent of utility respondents in a recent SAS survey indicated that IoT was critical to their companies’ future success.
Top uses today include “metering and meter data management” (55 percent) and “cybersecurity” (49 percent). However, the biggest growth areas are customer-facing. Seventy-three percent of respondents indicated that “customer engagement” will be IoT-enabled in the next three years. It should come as no surprise that the most common benefit of IoT analytics cited in the research was better customer service.
While IoT devices are largely grid-based, utilities are turning that intelligence into benefits for customers. For example, Kevin Lagge, Director of Strategy, Analytics, Enterprise Architecture and Technology Planning at Oklahoma Gas & Electric, has a real passion for applying analytics in the area of reliability and outage management. IoT is influencing the discipline of grid reliability by integrating data from social media and communicating with customers via their mobile devices. “As we get more sophisticated with our customers and we’re leveraging more about what they’re telling us, we are going to be able to serve them better and increase customer satisfaction,” Lagge said.