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Utilities must combine IT, OT to benefit from smart grid, Pike says

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Friday, August 31, 2012

Deployment of smart grid technologies has hit a small hurdle as uncertainty and confusion about how to integrate network operations continues to mount, driving a need for renewed training on bridging the gap between IT and OT systems, Pike Research reports.

According to the research firm, as the smart grid evolution shifts away from smart meters and toward a dynamic, intelligent network that supports a wide range of communication platforms, the need for such integration will rise even higher. This has led many utilities to better combine the information and operation sides of the company.

"In some utilities, the CIO is driving the planning process to achieve an architectural view of IT and OT," said research director Eric Woods. "Others are allowing operational teams to take the lead in defining requirements, with the IT organization adopting the system provider role."

Woods added that many utilities are focused on identifying new functions and processes for the smart grid, and worrying about organizational structures later.

SUBNET's solutions help utilities marry information and operation technologies by using a vendor-agnostic approach, allowing companies to install a wide range of disparate intelligent electronic devices.

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